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Spectra of molecular changes induced in DNA of Drosophila spermatozoa by 1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea and X-rays


, : Spectra of molecular changes induced in DNA of Drosophila spermatozoa by 1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea and X-rays. Mutation Research 199(1): 255-268

Mutations induced in Drosophila spermatozoa at the alcohol dehydrogenase Adh locus by 1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea (ENU) were compared to X-ray-induced mutations using genetic tests for complementation, southern blotting, western blotting and northern blotting. 8 of 10 ENU-induced mutations complemented all known adjacent loci and were presumed to be intragenic. In contrast, 8 of 30 X-ray-induced mutations were intragenic. Southern blot analysis showed that 2 of 7 intragenic mutations induced by X-rays were altered at the Adh locus, whereas all 8 intragenic ENU mutants appeared normal. Western blot analysis showed 4 of 7 intragenic mutants induced by X-rays produced a detectable polypeptide; 1 of the 4 had normal molecular weight and charge. In contrast, 7 of the 8 intragenic mutants induced by ENU produced a polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge. One ENU and two X-ray-induced mutants, which had normal southern blots and no detectable polypeptide, produced normal molecular weight mRNA by northern blots. The interpretation of these results is that in spermatozoa X-rays induce primarily deletions that either produce deficiencies of the Adh locus or nonsense mutations within the locus, whereas ENU induces primarily missense mutations. This forward mutation assay based on loss of enzymatic activity efficiently recovered a broad spectrum of mutations ranging from missense to intragenic deletions and multi-locus deficiencies. Only 3 of these 40 mutations produced a polypeptide detectable as an electrophoretic variant.

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