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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jan;85(1):180-4.

Saturation germ line mutagenesis of the murine t region including a lethal allele at the quaking locus.

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McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


The proximal region of mouse chromosome 17 contains many genes affecting embryonic development, germ cell differentiation, and the immune system. Although the study of natural variation, including t haplotypes, has yielded some information about the function of these genes, spontaneous variants often exhibit manifold genetic effects and are generally not carried on inbred backgrounds. To clearly connect phenotypes with the actions of individual genes, mutants in which genes are altered singly are needed. Therefore, we used a highly efficient point mutagen, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, in combination with classical breeding schemes to induce and identify recessive lethal mutations in the t region. Of 350 mutagenized gametes examined, at least 10 independent recessive embryonic lethal mutations have been identified; an additional two are perinatal lethals. A spontaneous brachyury mutation, TWis, arose on a genetic background that permits high-resolution mapping of the induced recessive mutations against cloned DNA sequences from the t region. One lethal mutation is an allele at the quaking locus. The multiple alleles of quaking and the feasibility of high-resolution mapping permit investigation of the pleiotropic action of this locus in mammalian development.

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