The survival of UV irradiated phage lambda was increased on X-irradiated E.coli K-12 host cells over that on unirradiated cells. The frequency of c mutants among the surviving phages was increased to a similar extent by the X-ray exposure of the host cells as by UV light. This W-reactivation of phage lambda occurred in uvrA, polA, and recB mutants besides the wild type at about equal X-ray doses, but at a reduced reactivation efficiency compared with the wild type. W-reactivation was undetectable in recA mutants. While maximal UV induced W-reactivation occured 30 min after irradiation, the maximal X-ray induced reactivation was found immediately after irradiation. Chloramphenicol (100 ..mu..g/ml) and nitrofurantoin (50 ..mu..g/ml) inhibited W-reactivation of phage lambda if added before irradiation of the host cells, indicating the necessity of protein synthesis for W-reactivation.