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Nature. 1980 Jan 10;283(5743):218-20.

Excision sequences in the mitochondrial genome of yeast.


It is well established that spontaneous cytoplasmic 'petite' mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have mitochondrial genome units in which an excised segment of the parental wild-type genome has been tandemly amplified (Fig. 1), so that the excised segment becomes the repeat unit of the petite genome; the latter may in turn undergo further deletions leading to secondary petite genomes having shorter repeat units (see ref. 1 for a brief review). Recent investigations on the mitochondrial genomes of several spontaneous petite mutants have shown that frequently the ends of the excised segment correspond to short sequences of the wild-type genome which are extremely rich in GC, the GC clusters; alternatively, they seem to be located in the long AT-rich stretches, the AT spacers, which form at least half of the genome. As sequence repetitions have been demonstrated in both GC clusters and AT spacers, it is very likely that excision takes place by a mechanism involving illegitimate site-specific recombination events between homologous sequences, as previously postulated. We show here that the sequences involved in the excision of a particular spontaneous petite genome are direct nucleotide repeats located in the AT spacers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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