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Griffiths AJF, Miller JH, Suzuki DT, et al. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. 7th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000.

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An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. 7th edition.

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Reversion analysis

Testing for the reversion of a mutation can tell us something about the nature of the mutation or the action of a mutagen. For example, if a mutation cannot be reverted by action of the mutagen that induced it, then the mutagen must have some relatively specific unidirectional action. In a mutation induced by hydroxylamine (HA), for instance, it would be reasonable to expect that the original mutation is GC → AT, which cannot be reverted by another specific GC → AT event. Similarly, mutations that can be reverted by proflavin are in all likelihood frameshift mutations; thus mutations induced by nitrous acid (NA), which are transitions, should not be revertible by proflavin.

Transversions cannot be induced by the aforementioned agents, but they are definitely known to be common among spontaneous mutations, as shown by studies of DNA and protein sequencing. Thus, in the reversion test, if a mutation reverts spontaneously but does not revert in response to a transition mutagen or a frameshift mutagen, then, by elimination, it is probably a transversion.

Table 16-1 summarizes some reversion expectations based on simple assumptions from reversion analysis. Recall that mutagen specificities depend on the organism, the genotype, the gene studied, and the action of biological repair systems. Note that the kinds of logic employed in the reversion test rely heavily on the assumption that the reversion events are not due to suppressors or transposable elements; either of them would make inference from reversion more difficult.

Table 16-1. Reversion Tests.

Table 16-1

Reversion Tests.

By agreement with the publisher, this book is accessible by the search feature, but cannot be browsed.

Copyright © 2000, W. H. Freeman and Company.
Bookshelf ID: NBK22101


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