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Genetics. 2017 Feb;205(2):471-490. doi: 10.1534/genetics.116.186759.

DNA Repair in Drosophila: Mutagens, Models, and Missing Genes.

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Department of Biology and Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599


The numerous processes that damage DNA are counterbalanced by a complex network of repair pathways that, collectively, can mend diverse types of damage. Insights into these pathways have come from studies in many different organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster Indeed, the first ideas about chromosome and gene repair grew out of Drosophila research on the properties of mutations produced by ionizing radiation and mustard gas. Numerous methods have been developed to take advantage of Drosophila genetic tools to elucidate repair processes in whole animals, organs, tissues, and cells. These studies have led to the discovery of key DNA repair pathways, including synthesis-dependent strand annealing, and DNA polymerase theta-mediated end joining. Drosophila appear to utilize other major repair pathways as well, such as base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair, and interstrand crosslink repair. In a surprising number of cases, however, DNA repair genes whose products play important roles in these pathways in other organisms are missing from the Drosophila genome, raising interesting questions for continued investigations.


DNA damage; DNA repair; FlyBook; recombination

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