The effect of x-irradiation on gene function in bacteriophage T4 was examined using amber mutants for gene complementation. "Early" functions tested were less sensitive to x-rays than "late" functions. Both early and late functions were stabilized in chloramphenicol-pretreated complexes, but early functions were stabilized to a much greater extent. A model for phage radiation inactivation is proposed which relates the survival of gene function to the survival of the intact bacteriophage.

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