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Plant Cell. Mar 1992; 4(3): 333–347.
PMCID: PMC160133

Effects of ionizing radiation on a plant genome: analysis of two Arabidopsis transparent testa mutations.


Ionizing radiation is known to cause chromosomal alterations such as inversions and deletions and has been used extensively for inducing mutations. In Arabidopsis, two methods for the isolation of genes identified on the basis of mutant phenotypes--genomic subtraction and chromosome walking--either rely on or are greatly facilitated by the availability of these types of mutations. This article gives a detailed characterization of ionizing radiation-induced mutations in plants. The Arabidopsis genes encoding chalcone flavanone isomerase (CHI) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) were cloned and found to correspond to two transparent testa loci. A CHI allele, generated by fast-neutron irradiation, consisted of an inversion within the gene. A 272-bp fragment from 38 centimorgans away on the same chromosome was transferred to one end of this inversion. A DFR allele, induced by x-irradiation, contained two deletions and an inversion of the 2.8-centimorgan intervening region. Sequence analysis of the break points in both mutants indicate that repair of radiation-induced damage involves mechanisms similar or identical to those that mediate the integration of foreign sequences into the genome. The chromosome rearrangements found in these mutants have important implications for the use of ionizing radiation-induced alleles in classical and molecular genetic experiments in plants.

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Selected References

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Articles from The Plant Cell are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


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