The minimal bacteriostatic concentration of iodoacetate, azide, or proflavine was added at intervals during the latent periods of virus in three different bacterium-bacteriophage systems (M. aureus, B. mycoides, E. coli). For each interval at which inhibitor was added, the occurrence of lysis and the final yield of phage were determined. In the B. mycoides and E. coli systems, when added during the first part of the latent period, inhibitor prevented lysis and no phage was released. Introduction of inhibitor during the last part of the latent period resulted in normal lysis and in a linear increase in phage that progressively approached the yield obtained in the absence of inhibitor (the later the introduction, the higher the yield). In the M. aureus system, phage production and lysis in the presence of inhibitor followed the same general pattern, except that release of phage and normal lysis occurred in infected cells to which inhibitor had been added quite early in the latent period.
Our results, when compared with those of Foster (1948) with proflavine and Bozeman et al. (1954) with chloramphenicol, suggest that (1) the final phage yields represent the amount of mature intracellular virus present at the time of addition of inhibitor and (2) the reactions leading to lysis proceed independently of those leading to the formation of mature virus once phage infection has reached a critical point in time.