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Genetics. Apr 1991; 127(4): 699–710.
PMCID: PMC1204397

Recurrence of Repeat-Induced Point Mutation (Rip) in Neurospora Crassa


Duplicate DNA sequences in the genome of Neurospora crassa can be detected and mutated in the sexual phase of the life cycle by a process termed RIP (repeat-induced point mutation). RIP occurs in the haploid nuclei of fertilized, premeiotic cells before fusion of the parental nuclei. Both copies of duplications of gene-sized sequences are affected in the first generation at frequencies of &50-100%. We investigated the extent to which sequences altered by RIP remain susceptible to this process in subsequent generations. Duplications continued to be sensitive to RIP, even after six generations. The fraction of progeny showing evidence of RIP decreased rapidly, however, apparently as a function of the extent of divergence of the duplicated sequences. Analysis of the stability of heteroduplexes of DNA altered by RIP and their native counterpart indicated that linked duplications diverged further than did unlinked duplications. DNA methylation, a common feature of sequences altered by RIP, did not seem to inhibit the process. A sequence that had become resistant to RIP was cloned and reintroduced into Neurospora in one or more copies to investigate the basis of the resistance. The altered sequence regained its methylation in vegetative cells, indicating that the methylation of sequences altered by RIP observed in vegetative cells is a consequence of the mutations. Duplication of the sequence restored its sensitivity to RIP suggesting that resistance to the process was due to loss of similarity between the duplicated sequences. Consistent with this, we found that the resistant sequence did not trigger RIP of the native homologous sequences of the host, even when no other partner was available. High frequency intrachromatid recombination, which is temporally associated with RIP, was more sensitive than RIP to alterations in the interacting sequences.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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