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Curr Genet. 1996 Dec;30(6):522-30.

Characterization of primary lesions caused by the plastome mutator of Oenothera.

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Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA.


Oenothera plants homozygous for a recessive allele at the plastome mutator (pm) locus show non-Mendelian mutation frequencies that are 1000-fold higher than spontaneous levels. Characterization of RFLP sites in a collection of mutants indicates that insertion-deletion hot spots in the pm lines are defined by tandem direct repeats, implicating replication slippage or misalignment during recombination. Several sites known to contain very short direct repeats were examined, and all were found to have been targeted in one or more plants of the mutant collection. To determine if replication slippage was occurring, two oligo-A stretches in non-coding DNA were examined, and 3 of 12 plants were found to have an additional adenine in a 13-base track. To search for other mutations that would not be visible as restriction fragment length polymorphisms, PCR-amplification products of the psbB gene were digested with a restriction endonuclease, denatured, and examined for single-strand conformational polymorphisms. Among 21 mutants, one 4-bp insertion and one point mutation were identified in psbB. The discovery that the plastome mutator can cause base substitutions as well as repeat-mediated insertions and deletions points to a likely defect in a component of the cpDNA replication machinery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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