The product of gene 31 is normally required for assembly of the T4 capsid. Two mutations that each bypass that requirement are shown to be located at separate sites in gene 23, which encodes the major structural protein of the capsid. A second phenotypic effect that characterizes both bypass31 mutant strains is the ability to multiply in host-defective strains, such as hdB3-1 and groEL mutants, on which wild-type T4 is unable to assemble capsids. The genetic data indicate that both phenotypic effects are due to the bypass31 mutation. Elimination of the requirement for both the phage protein, gp31, and the host protein, GroEL, by either of two single mutations in gene 23 indicates that GroEL and gp31 are normally needed to interact with gp23 in capsid assembly of wild-type T4.