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Genetics. 2005 Oct;171(2):715-23. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Genomic mutation in lines of Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to ultraviolet-B radiation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Studies that have attempted to estimate the rate of deleterious mutation have typically been conducted under low levels of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation, a naturally occurring mutagen. We conducted experiments to test whether the inclusion of natural levels of UV-B radiation in mutation-accumulation (MA) experiments influences the rate and effects of mildly deleterious mutation in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Ten generations of MA proved insufficient to observe significant changes in means or among-line variances in experimental lines maintained either with or without supplemental UV-B radiation. Maximum-likelihood estimates of mutation rate for total flower number revealed a small but significant rate of mutation for MA lines propagated under supplemental UV-B exposure, but not for those in which supplemental UV-B was omitted. A fraction of the flower number mutations under UV-B (approximately 25-30%) are estimated to increase flower number. Results from the application of transposon display to plant materials obtained after MA, in both the presence and absence of supplemental UV-B, suggest that the average rate of transposition for the class I and II transposable elements (TEs) surveyed was no more than 10(-4). Overall, the estimates of mutation parameters are qualitatively similar to what has been observed in other MA experiments with this species in which supplemental UV-B levels have not been used. As well, it appears that naturally occurring levels of UV-B do not lead to detectable increases in levels of transposable element activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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