In a study of intergroup reactions, four virulent Group A streptococcal phages were found to form plaques in high titer on lawns prepared from a number of Group C streptococcal strains. Whether the phages were propagated on the homologous (Group A) strain or a heterologous (Group C) strain did not appear to influence consistently the plaque-forming efficiency on lawns prepared from a homologous (Group A) or a heterologous (Group C) strain or to alter significantly the percent of Group C strains which showed plaque formation.
Considerable variability was found in the ability of temperate phages to lyse strains of a heterologous group. A single Group C indicator strain was lysed by a high percentage of freshly induced temperate Group A phages. A single temperate Group C phage lysed a significant proportion of Group A strains when freshly induced or when propagated on a Group A strain.
Intragroup transduction of streptomycin resistance was demonstrated between Group C strains. Intergroup transduction of streptomycin resistance and also bacitracin resistance was achieved between Group C and Group A streptococci. These observations provide evidence that Group A streptococci can serve as recipients in intergroup transmission of genetic information.
Ultraviolet irradiation of the transducing lysate and lowering the propagation temperature of the transducing lysate increased the frequency of transduction in both the intragroup and intergroup transduction systems.