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Genetics. 1994 Dec;138(4):1093-103.

High frequency repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) is not associated with efficient recombination in Neurospora.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403-1229.


Duplicated DNA sequences in Neurospora crassa are efficiently detected and mutated during the sexual cycle by a process named repeat-induced point mutation (RIP). Linked, direct duplications have previously been shown to undergo both RIP and deletion at high frequency during premeiosis, suggesting a relationship between RIP and homologous recombination. We have investigated the relationship between RIP and recombination for an unlinked duplication and for both inverted and direct, linked duplications. RIP occurred at high frequency (42-100%) with all three types of duplications used in this study, yet recombination was infrequent. For both inverted and direct, linked duplications, recombination was observed, but at frequencies one to two orders of magnitude lower than RIP. For the unlinked duplication, no recombinants were seen in 900 progeny, indicating, at most, a recombination frequency nearly three orders of magnitude lower than the frequency of RIP. In a direct duplication, RIP and recombination were correlated, suggesting that these two processes are mechanistically associated or that one process provokes the other. Mutations due to RIP have previously been shown to occur outside the boundary of a linked, direct duplication, indicating that RIP might be able to inactivate genes located in single-copy sequences adjacent to a duplicated sequence. In this study, a single-copy gene located between elements of linked duplications was inactivated at moderate frequencies (12-14%). Sequence analysis demonstrated that RIP mutations had spread into these single-copy sequences at least 930 base pairs from the boundary of the duplication, and Southern analysis indicated that mutations had occurred at least 4 kilobases from the duplication boundary.

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