Regulation of Gene Expression in Bacteriophage Lambda

  • René Thomas
Conference paper
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology / Ergebnisse der Mikrobiologie und Immunitätsforschung book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 56)


The expression of many bacterial genes adapts itself in an almost instantaneous and reversible way to specific environmental changes. More specifically, the concentration of a number of metabolites, a function of the amounts of enzymes involved in their synthesis or degradation, in turn retroacts on the rate of synthesis of these enzymes. The genetic bases for this regulation were established by Jacob and Monod (1961). These authors also showed how the known elements of these regulatory mechanisms could be connected into a wide variety of circuits endowed with any desired degree of stability, in order to account for essentially irreversible processes like differentiation (Monod and Jacob, 1961). The general principles used by Jacob and Monod in their study of negative regulation were extended to positive regulation by Englesberg et al. (1965). An independent approach permitted the discovery of positive controls in temperate bacteriophages (see below, III).


Late Gene Helper Phage Prophage Gene Repressor Regulator Phage Yield 
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  • René Thomas

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