Lack of chemically induced mutation in repair deficient mutants of yeast

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Two genes, rad6 and rad9, that confer radiation sensitivity in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae also greatly reduce the frequency of chemically induced reversions of a tester mutant cyc1 131, which is a chain initiation mutant in the structural gene determining iso 1 cytochrome c. Mutations induced by ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), diethyl sulfate (DES), methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), dimethyl sulfate (DMS), nitroquinoline oxide (NQO), nitrosoguanidine (NTG), nitrogen mustard (HN2), β propiolactone, and tritiated uridine, as well as mutations induced by ultraviolet light (UV) and ionizing radiation were greatly diminished in strains homozygous for either the rad6 or rad9 gene. Nitrous acid and nitrosoimidazolidone (NIL), on the other hand, were highly mutagenic in these repair deficient mutants, and at low doses, these mutagens acted with about the same efficiency as in the normal RAD strain. At high doses of either nitrous acid or NIL, however, reversion frequencies were significantly reduced in the two rad mutants compared to normal strains. Although both rad mutants are immutable to about the same extent, the rad9 strains tend to be less sensitive to the lethal effect of chemical mutagens than rad6 strains. It is concluded that yeast requires a functional repair system for mutation induction by chemical agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1118
Number of pages18
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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