In the bacterial infection through bacteriophage lambda infection experiment, what is the specific function of molten agar? Explain in detail.
Bacteriophage lambda infect host cells by binding to maltose receptor expressed by the bacteria. Agar contains maltose that allows growth of the bacteria and they express the receptors necessary for infection by bacteriophage. Molten agar used in the assay allows bacteria (host) to be immobilized where they keep growing and provides an opportunity to the bacteriophages that are being released by the cells to diffuse short distancs in the culture plates, favouring infection of newer host cells. Lysis of the host cells during bacteriophage release leads to formation of clear regions called as plaques.
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