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The influence of DNA content and nuclear volume on the frequency of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations in Bufo species

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The frequency of chromosome aberrations was compared in X-irradiated blood lymphocytes of Bufo marinus, B. calamita and B. pardalis which have similar chromosome numbers (2n=22) and karyotypes but differ in chromosomal DNA content and nuclear volume. — For each species the yield, per cell of centric exchange aberrations (dicentrics+rings) and of deletions (interstitial and terminal) increased approximately as the 1.5th power of the dose. — The 55% higher chromosomal DNA content of B. pardalis compared with both B. marinus and B. calamita resulted in the same increase in the frequency of deletions as a 55% increase in radiation dose, approximately doubling the yield. Both factors probably lead to a similar increase in the frequency of primary lesions from which the deletions are derived. — In contrast, an increase in chromosomal DNA content did not result in a higher yield of dicentric and ring exchanges, probably because the greater nuclear volume of B. pardalis (twice that of the other species) offset the potential increase in exchanges by increasing the average distance between chromosomes and chromosome arms. The data support the hypothesis that, in order to be involved in exchange, chromosome regions must be close together at the time of irradiation. The frequency of deletions is unaffected by changes in nuclear volume.

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Griffin, C.S., Scott, D. & Papworth, D.G. The influence of DNA content and nuclear volume on the frequency of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations in Bufo species. Chromosoma 30, 228–249 (1970).

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  • Radiation Dose
  • Chromosome Number
  • Average Distance
  • Chromosome Region
  • Blood Lymphocyte