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

Genetic factors affecting recovery of nonpoint mutations in the region of a gene coding for ornithine transcarbamylase: involvement of both the F factor in its chromosomal state and the recA gene.

Mutants of E. coli K12 that overproduce ornithine transcarbamylase can be identified in Car- strains because they permit utilization of citrulline as a carbamyl phosphate source, due to reversal of the normal OTCase reaction; they are called Cut mutants (citrulline utilizers). Hfr strains that carry the F factor adjacent to argF (one of two duplicate genes that code for ornithine transcarbamylase in E. coli K12) yield more Cut mutants than do F+ or F- strains, or Hfr strains in which the F factor is not adjacent to argF. When Hfr strains in which the F factor is integrated adjacent to argF are made recA, they yield few Cut mutants. Many of the Cut mutants recovered from one of the Hfr strains used in the investigation (Hfr P4X) are unstable; the properties of these unstable mutations suggest that they carry aberrations in the region of the argF gene. Thus, the increased yields of Cut mutants probably result from aberrations that occur when the F factor is integrated adjacent to argF. The nature of these aberrations is not yet known. The unstable Cut mutants are to a large extent stabilized by recA; such stabilization is one of the properties of duplications. Other data indicate that the aberrations may be more complex than simple gene duplications; in particular properties of segregants and some recombinants derived from unstable Cut mutants are most easily interpreted by assuming that segregation from, and possibly formation of, the unstable mutants occurs in several stages.[1]


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