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Resolving the enigma of multiple mutant sectors in stamen hairs of tradescantia

Resolving the enigma of multiple mutant sectors in stamen hairs of tradescantia

Genetics 73(4): 575-582

Mutant sectors in stamen hairs of Clone 02 Tradescantia are designated as "multiple sectors" when two or more occupy the same hair, separated by non-mutant cells. Statistical analyses show that most multiple sectors do not arise as chance associations of independent events: when the frequency of stamens with two or more sectors is lowest, the probability that the sectors will be located in the same, rather than in different, hairs is highest. Ontogenetically, the ratio of sector pairs in different hairs to pairs in the same hair is highest in that period of response to acute irradiation prior to the appearance of entire-hair sectors; thereafter, the ratio subsides, approaching that of spontaneous mutation and indicating that the initiating event takes place early in hair development. Most mononemic chromosome models will not account for the production of multiple mutant and non-mutant sectors, dispersed along a linear structure such as a stamen hair, following a single mutational event. Consideration is given to two models (one mononemic, and the other dinemic) which will readily provide the possibilities for either the immediate segregation of mutant and non-mutant cells, or for the perpetuation in daughter nuclei of a "heterozygous" chromosome capable of segregation at some later mitosis. The dinemic model is preferred because it affords operation of the mutation mechanism (including breakage and deletion) at either the DNA molecule or subunit level.

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Accession: 006322201

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PMID: 17248597

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