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Genetics. Nov 1991; 129(3): 735–752.
PMCID: PMC1204741

Genetic Analysis of a Major Segment [Lgv(left)] of the Genome of Caenorhabditis Elegans


From 10,900 F(1) progeny of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-mutagenized Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes, we isolated 194 lethal mutations on the left arm of LGV, a region balanced by the reciprocal translocation of eT1. The analysis of 166 of those mutations resulted in the identification of one deficiency and alleles of 78 genes including 38 new genes, thus increasing the number of identified essential genes to 101. We estimate that there are a minimum of 120 essential genes in this region, which comprises approximately 7% of the recombinational distance, although only about 4.2% of the genes, in C. elegans. We calculate that there are a minimum of 2850 essential genes in the genome. The left arm of LGV has two recombinational gene clusters separated by a high-recombination and/or essential gene-sparse region. One gene in this region, let-330, is the largest EMS target on the left arm of LGV, with twice as many alleles (16) as the next most EMS-mutable genes, let-332 and rol-3. Another gene in the sparse region, lin-40, and the region near lin-40 are major targets for Tc1 mobilization-induced mutagenesis. The analysis of essential genes in large regions should help to define C. elegans in terms of all its genes and aid in the understanding of the relationship of genome structure to genome function.

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Selected References

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