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Cell. 1981 May;24(2):429-36.

Structure of chi hotspots of generalized recombination.


Chi recombinational hotspots are sites around which the rate of Rec-promoted recombination in bacteriophage lambda is elevated. Examination of a derivative of lambda into which the plasmid pBR322 was inserted reveals that pBR322 lacks Chi sites. Using this lambda-pBR322 hybrid, we obtained mutations creating Chi sites at three widely separated loci within pBR322. Nucleotide sequence analysis reveals that the mutations are single base-pair changes creating the octamer 5' GCTGGTGG 3'. This sequence is present at three previously analyzed Chi sites in lambda, and all analyzed mutations creating or inactivating these Chi sites occur within this octamer. We conclude that Chi is 5' GCTGGTGG 3', or its complement, or both.

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