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Science. 2015 Apr 24;348(6233):442-4. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa5945. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Genome editing. The mutagenic chain reaction: a method for converting heterozygous to homozygous mutations.

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  • 1Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92095, USA.


An organism with a single recessive loss-of-function allele will typically have a wild-type phenotype, whereas individuals homozygous for two copies of the allele will display a mutant phenotype. We have developed a method called the mutagenic chain reaction (MCR), which is based on the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing system for generating autocatalytic mutations, to produce homozygous loss-of-function mutations. In Drosophila, we found that MCR mutations efficiently spread from their chromosome of origin to the homologous chromosome, thereby converting heterozygous mutations to homozygosity in the vast majority of somatic and germline cells. MCR technology should have broad applications in diverse organisms.

Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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