Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Uvm mutants of Escherichia coli K 12 deficient in UV mutagenesis

I. Isolation of uvm mutants and their phenotypical characterization in DNA repair and mutagenesis


Selection for defective reversion induction, after UV treatment of E. coli K 12, yielded uvm mutants. These mutants exhibited highly reduced or no UV mutability for all loci tested although they were moderately and normally mutable by X-rays and EMS, respectively. Uvm mutations confer only a slight sensitivity to killing by UV and X-rays and no clear sensitivity to the lethal effect of HN2, EMS or MMS. Growth and viability of untreated uvm cells were normal. The properties of uvm mutants are discussed in relation to those of other relevant mutant types and to some actual problems of induced mutagenesis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adelberg, E.A., Burns, S.N.: Genetic variation in the sex factor of Escherichia coli. J. Bact. 79, 321–330 (1960)

  2. Bridges, B.A., Gray, W.J.H., Green, M.H.L., Rothwell, M.A., Sedgwick, S.G.: Genetic and physiological separation of the repair and mutagenic functions of exrA gene in Escherichia coll. Genetics, Suppl. 73, 123–129 (1973)

  3. Bridges, B.A., Law, J., Munson, R.J.: Mutagenesis in Escherichia coll. II. Evidence for a common pathway for mutagenesis by ultraviolet light, ionizing radiation and thymine deprivation. Molec. gen. Genet. 103, 266–273 (1968)

  4. Bridges, B.A., Mottershead, R.: Rec + dependent mutagenesis occuring before DNA replication in UV- and γ-irradiated Escherichia coli. Mutation Res. 13, 1–8 (1971)

  5. Castellazzi, M., George, M., Buttin, J.: Prophage induction and cell division in E. coli. I. Further characterization of a thermosensitive mutation tif-1 whose expression mimics the effect of UV irradiation. Molec. gen. Genet. 119, 139–152 (1972)

  6. Cooper, P.K., Hanawalt, P.C.: Heterogenity of patch size in repair replicated DNA in Escherichia coli. J. molec. Biol. 67, 1–10 (1972a)

  7. Cooper, P.K., Hanawalt, P.C.: Role of DNA polymerase I and the rec system in excision-repair in Escherichia coli. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 69, 1156–1160 (1972b)

  8. Devoret, R.: Mechanisms involved in the recovery of phage λ from UV damage. In: Molecular mechanisms for the repair of DNA. (P.C. Hanawalt and R.B. Setlow, eds.). New York: Plenum Press 1974

  9. Donch, J., Green, M.H.L., Greenberg, J.: Interaction of the exr and lon genes in Escherichia coli. J. Bact. 96, 1704–1710 (1968)

  10. Doubleday, O.P., Bridges, B.A., Green, M.H.L.: Mutagenic DNA repair in Escherichia coli. II. Factors affecting loss of photoreversibility of UV-induced mutations. Molec. gen. Genet. 140, 221–230 (1975)

  11. Doudney, C.O.: Complexity of the ultraviolet mution frequency response curve in Escherichia coli B/r: SOS induction, one-lesion and two-lesion mutagenesis. J. Bact. 128, 815–826 (1976)

  12. Doudney, C.O., Haas, F.L.: Modification of ultra-violet induced mutation frequency and survival in bacteria by post-irradiation treatment. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 44, 390–401 (1958)

  13. Eyfjörd, J.E., Green, M.H.L., Bridges, B.A.: Mutagenic DNA repair in Escherichia coli: Conditions for error-free filling of daughter strand gaps. J. gen. Microbiol. 91, 369–375 (1975)

  14. Gudas, L.J., Pardee, A.B.: Model for the regulation of Escherichia coli DNA repair functions. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 72, 2330–2334 (1975)

  15. Harris, L., Kaminsky, J.: A precision actinometer for the ultraviolet region (including an exact test of the Einstein equivalence law). J. Amer. chem. Soc. 57, 1154–1159 (1935)

  16. Howard-Flanders, P., Boyce, R.P.: DNA repair and gnetic recombination: studies on mutants of Escherichia coli defective in these processes. Radiat. Res., Suppl. 6, 156–184 (1966)

  17. Ishii, Y., Kondo, S.: Spontaneous and radiation-induced deletion mutations in Escherichia coli strains with different repair capacities. Mutation Res. 16, 13–25 (1972)

  18. Kato, T., Shinoura, Y.: Isolation and characterization of mutants of Escherichia coli deficient in induction of mutations by ultraviolet light. Molec. gen. Genet. 156, 121–131 (1977)

  19. Kondo, S.: Mutagenicity versus radiosensitivity in Escherichia coli, pp. 126–127. Proceedings of the XIIth International Congress on Genetics, Vol. II (1969)

  20. Kondo, S.: Evidence that mutations are induced by errors in repair and replication. Genetics, Suppl. 73, 109–122 (1973)

  21. Kondo, S., Ichikawa, H., Iwo, K., Kato, T.: Base-change mutagenesis and prophage induction in strains of Escherichia coli with different DNA repair capacities. Genetics 66, 187–217 (1970)

  22. Lawley, P.D.: Some chemical aspects of dose-response relationships in alkylation mutagenesis. Mutation Res. 23, 283–295 (1974)

  23. Lemontt, J.F.: Mutants of yeast defective in mutation induced by ultraviolet light. Genetics 68, 21–33 (1971)

  24. Moody, E.M., Low, K.B., Mount, D.W.: Properties of strains of Escherichia coli K12 carrying mutant lex and rec alleles. Molec. gen. Genet. 121, 197–205 (1973)

  25. Mount, D.W., Kosel, C.: Ultraviolet light-induced mutation in UV-resistant, thermosensitive derivatives of lexA - strains of Escherichia coli K-12. Molec. gen. Genet. 136, 95–106 (1975)

  26. Mount, D.W., Low, K.B., Edmiston, S.J.: Dominant mutations (lex) in Escherichia coli K-12 which affect radiation sensitivity and frequency of ultraviolet light-induced mutations. J. Bact. 112, 886–893 (1972)

  27. Mount, D.W., Walker, A.C., Kosel, C.: Suppression of lex mutations affecting deoxyribonucleic acid repair in Escherichia coli K-12 by closely linked thermosensitive mutations. J. Bact. 116, 950–956 (1973)

  28. Nishioka, H., Doudney, C.O.: Different modes of loss of photoreversibility of mutation and lethal damage in ultraviolet light resistant and sensitive bacteria. Mutation Res. 8, 215–228 (1969)

  29. Nishioka, H., Doudney, C.O.: Different modes of loss of photoreversibility of ultraviolet light-induced true and suppressor mutations to tryptophan independence in an auxotrophic strain of Escherichia coli. Mutation Res. 9, 349–358 (1970)

  30. Radman, M.: SOS repair: an inducible mutagenic DNA repair. In: Molecular mechanisms for the repair of DNA (P.C. Hanawalt and R.B. Setlow, eds). New York: Plenum Press 1974

  31. Radman, M.: SOS repair hypothesis: phenomenology of an inducible DNA repair which is accompanied by mutagenesis. In: Molecular mechanisms for repair of DNA, part A (P. Hanawalt and R.B. Setlow, eds) pp. 355–367. New York: Plenum Press 1975

  32. Sedgwick, S.G.: Inducible error-prone repair in Escherichia coli. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 72, 2753–2757 (1975)

  33. Sedgwick, S.G.: Misrepair of overlapping daughter-strand gaps as a possible mechanism for UV induced mutagenesis in uvr strains of Escherichia coli: a general model for induced mutagenesis by misrepair (SOS repair) of closely spaced DNA lesions. Mutation Res. 41, 185–200 (1976)

  34. Sedgwick, S.G., Bridges, B.A.: Survival, mutation and capacity to repair single-strand DNA breaks after gamma irradiation in different exr - strains of Escherichia coli. Molec. gen. Genet. 119, 93–102 (1972)

  35. Szybalski, W., Bryson, V.: Genetic studies on microbial cross resistance to toxic agents. I. Cross resistance of Escherichia coli to fifteen antibiotics. J. Bact. 64, 489–499 (1952)

  36. Volkert, M.R., George, D.L., Witkin, E.M.: Partial suppression of the lexA phenotype by mutations (rnm) which restore ultraviolet resistance but not ultraviolet mutability to Escherichia coli B/r uvrA lexA. Mutation Res. 36, 17–28 (1976)

  37. Witkin, E.M.: Time, temperature and protein synthesis: a study of ultra-violet-induced mutation in bacteria. Cold Spr. Harb. Symp. quant. Biol. 21, 123–140 (1956)

  38. Witkin, E.M.: Mutation-proof and mutation-prone modes of survival in derivatives of Escherichia coli B differing in sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Brookhaven Symp. Biol. 20, 17–55 (1967)

  39. Witkin, E.M.: Ultraviolet-induced mutation and DNA repair. Ann. Rev. Genet. 3, 525–532 (1969)

  40. Witkin, E.M.: Ultraviolet mutagenesis in bacteria: the inducible nature of error-prone repair. An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 45 (Suppl.) 188–192 (1973)

  41. Witkin, E.M.: Elevated mutability of polA and uvrA polA derivatives of Escherichia coli B/r at sublethal doses of ultraviolet light: evidence for an inducible error-prone repair system (“SOS” repair) and its anomalous expression in these strains. Genet., Suppl. 79, 199–213 (1975a)

  42. Witkin, E.M.: Relationships among repair, mutagenesis and survival: overview, pp. 347–353. In: Molecular mechanisms for repair of DNA (P. Hanawalt and R.B. Setlow, eds.) part A. New York: Plenum Press 1975b

  43. Witkin, E.M.: Ultraviolet mutagenesis and inducible DNA repair in Escherichia coll. Bact. Rev. 40, 869–907 (1976)

  44. Witkin, E.M., George, D.L.: Ultraviolet mutagenesis in polA and uvrA polA derivatives of Escherichia coli B/r: evidence for an inducible error-prone repair system. Genetics 73, 91–108 (1973)

  45. Youngs, D.A., Schueren, E. van der, Smith, K.C.: Separate branches of the uvr gene-dependent excision repair process in ultraviolet irradiated Escherichia coli K-12 cells: Their dependence upon growth medium and the polA, recA, recB, and exrA genes.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by B.A. Bridges

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Steinborn, G. Uvm mutants of Escherichia coli K 12 deficient in UV mutagenesis. Molec. Gen. Genet. 165, 87–93 (1978).

Download citation


  • Lethal Effect
  • Actual Problem
  • Mutant Type
  • Clear Sensitivity
  • Slight Sensitivity