Prophage induction in Haemophilus influenzae and its relationship to mutation by chemical and physical agents

Mutat Res. 1984 Jan;125(1):15-22. doi: 10.1016/0027-5107(84)90027-7.


It is known that UV, X-rays, MMC and MMS are not mutagenic for H. influenzae, whereas HZ, EMS and MNNG are potent mutagens for this bacterium. All of these agents, however, are known to be both mutagenic and able to induce prophage in E. coli. We report here that all the agents except HZ induce prophage in H. influenzae, and EMS even induces in the recombination-defective recl mutant, which is non-inducible by UV, MMC, MNNG and MMS. MMS did not cause single-strand breaks or gaps in DNA synthesized after treatment of H. influenzae, but EMS and MNNG produced them. EMS caused more breaks in DNA synthesized before treatment than in that synthesized after treatment. On the other hand we did observe such breaks or gaps induced in E. coli in DNA synthesized posttreatment by EMS as well as by MMS and MNNG, at comparable survival levels.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages / drug effects
  • Bacteriophages / growth & development*
  • Bacteriophages / radiation effects
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate / toxicity
  • Haemophilus influenzae / drug effects
  • Haemophilus influenzae / genetics*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / radiation effects
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate / toxicity
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine / toxicity
  • Mitomycin
  • Mitomycins / toxicity
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Mutation*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Virus Activation* / drug effects
  • Virus Activation* / radiation effects


  • Mitomycins
  • Mutagens
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Mitomycin
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate