1. Several lac diploid strains of Escherichia coli were constructed and tested to discover whether mutations in the lac promoter alleviate catabolite repression. 2. In each of these diploids the chromosome carries one of the promoter mutations, L8, L29 or L1; so that the rate of synthesis of the enzymes of the lac operon is only 2–6% of the fully induced wild-type. Each diploid harbours the episome F′lacM15 that specifies the synthesis of thiogalactoside transacetylase under the control of intact regulator, promoter and operator regions, but has a deletion in the structural gene for β-galactosidase. In each diploid more than 90% of the thiogalactoside transacetylase is synthesized from the episome, and 100% of the β-galactosidase is synthesized from the chromosome, and comparison of the extent of catabolite repression that the two enzymes suffered indicated whether the chromosomal promoter mutation relieves catabolite repression. 3. In the strains in which the promoter carries either of the point mutations L8 or L29 the enzymes were equally repressed, suggesting that neither L8 nor L29 affects catabolite repression. 4. In a diploid strain harbouring the same episome but carrying deletion L1 on the chromosome, synthesis of β-galactosidase suffered much less repression than that of thiogalactoside transacetylase. 5. In a diploid strain in which the chromosome carries L1 and also a second mutation that increases the rate of expression of lac to that permitted by L8 or L29, the synthesis of β-galactosidase again suffered much less repression than the synthesis of thiogalactoside transacetylase. 6. The effect of L1 (which deletes the boundary between the i gene and the lac promoter) is ascribed to its bringing the expression of lac under the control of the promoter of the i gene. 7. Even in strains carrying L1, some catabolite repression persists; this is not due to a trans effect from the episome since it occurs equally in a haploid strain with L1.

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