In Difco nutrient broth, containing 0.5 per cent NaCl, pH 6.6, Escherichia coli phages T1, T2, and T5 were inactivated at 66°C., and T7 at 60°C., at nearly the same rate. In each case the rate of destruction was not uniform but more or less decreased with time of heating. With T2 there was an initial increase in number of infective centers after heating for several minutes at 66°C.
Hydrostatic pressures up to 10,000 pounds per square inch retarded the thermal destruction of T1, T2, and T5, but accelerated that of T7, while small concentrations of urethane accelerated the rate of each.
The rate of inactivation was increased by the addition of 0.005 M phosphate, and was decreased by 0.005 M MgCl2 in all but T7, whose rate was unaffected by this amount of Mg. The influence of Ca was similar to that of Mg.
The addition of 0.005 M MgCl2 to the broth medium resulted in a first order rate of destruction of T5 at either normal or increased pressure, and with as well as without urethane. Analysis of data obtained under these conditions indicated that the thermal inactivation proceeds with a volume increase of activation of 113 cc. per mol, and with a heat and entropy of 170,000 calories and 425 E. U., respectively, in the rate-limiting reaction. In the presence of 0.1 M urethane the heat and volume change of activation are apparently slightly greater. The relation between concentration of urethane and the amount of acceleration in rate of destruction at normal pressure and 66°C. indicated that the total rate involves at least two first order rate processes: the thermal inactivation itself and a urethane-catalyzed reaction, the latter involving the combination of an average of 2.3 molecules of urethane in the activated state of the bacteriophage molecule whose destruction results in loss of phage activity.