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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mutant profiles of selectable genetic elements.

A method is presented that allows simultaneous analysis of the effects of all possible point mutations within a specific mutation window of at least 50 base pairs on a DNA fragment that codes for a selectable function. It relies on the detection of mismatched base pairs with hydroxylamine and osmium tetroxide. A mutant plasmid library of randomly distributed point mutations within the lacZ' gene of Escherichia coli was selected for functional alpha-complementation by growth on lactose. The DNA fragments of the selected and unselected library were each heat denatured and again renatured, thereby generating a randomly distributed set of all possible mismatches within the mutagenesis window. Cytidine-containing mismatches were then detected with hydroxylamine, and thymidine-containing mismatches were detected with osmium tetroxide. When this procedure was performed for both DNA strands, all mismatches could be detected. A comparison of the results of the unselected and selected library leads to an estimation of the effects of each detectable mutation on alpha-complementation in vivo. This method, called "mutant profiling," should be applicable to all selectable genetic elements.[1]


  1. Mutant profiles of selectable genetic elements. Wurst, H., Pohl, F.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
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