The induction of prophage lambda by ultraviolet light has been measured in E. coli K12 lysogenic cells deficient in DNA polymerase I. The efficiency of the induction process was greater in polA1 polC(dnaE) double mutants incubated at the temperature that blocks DNA replication than in polA+ polC single mutants. Similarly, the polA1 mutation sensitized tif-promoted lysogenic induction in a polA1 tif strain at 42 degrees. In strains bearing the polA12 mutation, which growth normally at 30 degrees, induction of the prophage occurred after the shift to 42 degrees. It is concluded that dissapearance of the DNA polymerase I activity leads to changes in DNA replication that are able, per se, trigger the prophage induction process.