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

Studies on mutagen-sensitive strains of Drosophila melanogaster. II. Detection of qualitative differences between genetic damage induced by X-irradiation of mature spermatozoa in oxygenated and anoxic atmospheres through the use of the repair-deficient mutant mei-9a.

Muller-5 males were irradiated with X-rays in nitrogen, in air or in oxygen (followed by nitrogen or oxygen post-treatments in the nitrogen and oxygen series) and were mated to females of a repair-proficient strain (mei+) or to those of a strain known to be deficient in excision repair of UV damage (in somatic cells). The latter strain, designated as mei-9a, is also known to be sensitive, in the larval stages, to the killing effects of UV, X-rays and to a number of chemical mutagens. The frequencies of sex-linked recessive lethals and autosomal translocations induced in the spermatozoa of males were determined and compared. The frequencies of sex-linked recessive lethals in the mei-9 control groups were consistently higher than in the mei+ groups. Irradiation in air or in nitrogen led to significantly higher yields of recessive lethals when the irradiated males were mated to mei-9 females, whereas, after irradiation in oxygen, the yields were similar with both kinds of female. No significant differences in the frequencies of reciprocal translocations were observed between the mei+ and mei-9 groups after irradiation of the males in nitrogen, in air or in oxygen. Likewise, no differential effects of the contrasting post-treatments (nitrogen versus oxygen), either for recessive lethals or for translocations, could be discerned. These results are considered to support the notion that the kinds of genetic damage induced in mature spermatozoa in air or in nitrogen are qualitatively similar (at least with respect to the component(s) that lead to the production of recessive lethal mutations), but clearly different when induced in an oxygen atmosphere. The enhanced yields of recessive lethals with mei-9 females (after irradiation of the males either in air or in nitrogen) has been interpreted on the assumption that the mei-9 mutant is also deficient for the repair of X-ray-induced, recessive lethal-generating premutational lesions. Possible reasons for the lack of differences between the mei+ and mei-9 groups with respect to translocation yields and for the absence of measurable differences in response between the contrasting post-treatments (after irradiation of the males in nitrogen) are discussed.[1]


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