Unequal crossing-over between sister chromosomes in the process of DNA replication in Escherichia coli leads to the formation of tandem duplications, thus enhancing the activity of certain genes. In conjugational matings between genetically marked E. coli strains, unequal crossing-over leads to the formation of heterozygous tandem duplications. Studying these duplications as model systems allowed the conclusion that unequal crossing-over between direct DNA repeats of sister chromosomes is the main pathway of the formation of selected recombinants in E. coli strains carrying duplications. This was inferred from the data on the segregation of homozygous diploid recombinants by heterozygous duplications. Unequal crossing-over between sister chromosomes occurs as adaptive exchange providing the survival of the greater part of bacterial cells on a selective medium. The known phenomenon of adaptive mutagenesis may also be a consequence of unequal exchanges at the level of DNA mononucleotide repeats.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 7, 2006
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