Irradiation of bacteria in the presence of 1-naphthol produces a radiosensitization. The magnitude of the response is dependent upon cell concentration and type, and requires an extended incubation in the irradiated medium. Irradiation of 1-naphthol yields both 1,2- and 1,4-naphthoquinone. Synthetic mixtures of these agents at concentrations equivalent to those produced by 40 kR irradiation demonstrate the required level of toxicity. Cells accumulated like amounts of these agents from either irradiated 1-naphthol or from mixtures with toxicity related to this accumulation. The mechanism of this sensitization in terms of sulfhydryl interaction and electron transport interference is discussed.

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