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Genetics. 1992 Sep;132(1):9-21.

An examination of adaptive reversion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322.


Reversion to Lys+ prototrophy in a haploid yeast strain containing a defined lys2 frameshift mutation has been examined. When cells were plated on synthetic complete medium lacking only lysine, the numbers of Lys+ revertant colonies accumulated in a time-dependent manner in the absence of any detectable increase in cell number. An examination of the distribution of the numbers of early appearing Lys+ colonies from independent cultures suggests that the mutations to prototrophy occurred randomly during nonselective growth. In contrast, an examination of the distribution of late appearing Lys+ colonies indicates that the underlying reversion events occurred after selective plating. No accumulation of Lys+ revertants occurred when cells were starved for tryptophan, leucine or both lysine and tryptophan prior to plating selectively for Lys+ revertants. These results indicate that mutations accumulate more frequently when they confer a selective advantage, and are thus consistent with the occurrence of adaptive mutations in yeast.

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