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J Mol Biol. 1988 Jul 20;202(2):233-43.

Deletion formation in bacteriophage T4.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


We have manipulated the dispensable region of the rIIB gene of bacteriophage T4 in order to study the generation of deletions involving direct repeats. We show that recombination between different parental chromosomes is one source of the deletions we have studied. We have also investigated the effects of structure, base composition and distance on deletion formation. We demonstrate that the potential to form structure in single-stranded DNA has variable effects on the frequency of deletion formation and conclude that, in some cases, slipped mispairing during DNA synthesis can make a substantial contribution to deletion frequencies. The G + C richness of the direct repeats involved in deletion formation is an important parameter of the frequency of deletion formation. We have confirmed that increasing the distance between direct repeats decreases deletion frequency.

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