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J Mol Evol. 1995 Jan;40(1):86-93.

Genetics of selection-induced mutations: I. uvrA, uvrB, uvrC, and uvrD are selection-induced specific mutator loci.

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Biology Department, University of Rochester, NY 14627.


Selection-induced mutations, sometimes called "directed," "adaptive," or "Cairnsian" mutations, are spontaneous mutations that occur as specific responses to environmental challenges, usually during periods of prolonged stress, and that occur more often when they are selectively advantageous than when they are selectively neutral. In this study I show that lesions in uvrA, uvrB, uvrC, or uvrD increase the mutation rate from trpA46 to trpA+ by 10(2)- to 10(4)-fold during tryptophan starvation, but those same lesions do not affect random mutation rates in growing cells when tryptophan is present. The increased selection-induced mutation rates remain specific to the gene that is under selection in that no increase in the mutation rate from trpA46 to trpA+ is detected during proline starvation. Evidence is presented showing that proline starvation produces a state of cellular stress which results in a burst of mutations from trpA46 to trpA+ when proline-starved cells are plated onto medium lacking tryptophan but containing proline. These results are consistent with the hypermutable state model for selection-induced mutagenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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