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The effect of gamma radiation on recombination frequency in Caenorhabditis elegans Kim, Jong Sun


Treatment with ionizing radiation is known to cause chromosome breakage in many organisms including Caenorhabditis elegans. In addition, gamma radiation increases recombination frequency in Drosophila melanogaster. In order to investigate the generality of radiation-induced recombination, I have undertaken to study the effect of gamma radiation on recombination frequency in C. elegans. This is the first study to describe radiation-induced recombination in C. elegans. Radiation doses of 2K rads increased recombination frequency in the dpy-5 unc-13 interval of LGI approximately two-fold. The amount of the increase was affected by the developmental stage of gonads at the time of radiation treatment and by radiation dose. X-chromosome nondisjunction was also increased by radiation treatment. A high frequency of the recombinant progeny produced with radiation treatment were sterile unlike their nonrecombinant siblings. When parameters affecting recombination frequency are held constant, chromosomal regions within the gene clusters of the meiotic map increased most after radiation treatment. However, none of the increases were of the magnitude described for centric heterochromatin in Drosophila.

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