Mutations and Mutagenesis
The first problem facing the early bacterial geneticist was to prove that bacteria did have inherited traits. The earliest presumption was that bacteria and other microorganisms were too small to have any phenotypic traits that could be studied. That concept was disabused by the work of Beadle and Tatum, who demonstrated that biochemical reactions could be used as phenotypic traits and developed the famous “one gene—one enzyme” hypothesis. There was, however, still one remaining area of uncertainty about the existence of bacterial genetics. Many workers thought that the hypothesis of Lamarck regarding the inheritance of acquired traits was true for bacteria even though it had already been disproved for the higher eukaryotes. The first task of the fledgling science of bacterial genetics was to prove that the same processes of mutation that had already been shown to occur in eukaryotes also occurred in prokaryotes.
KeywordsMutation Rate Genetic Code Mutant Cell Bacterial Variation Frameshift Mutation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Brown, T., Hunter, W.N., Kneale, G., Kennard, 0. (1986). Molecular structure of the G•A base pair in DNA and its implications for the mechanism of trans-version mutations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 83: 2402–2406.Google Scholar
- Paolozzi, L., Ghelardini, P. (1986). General method for the isolation of conditional lethal mutants in any required region of the virus genome: its application to the semi-essential region of phage Mu. The Journal of General Microbiology 132: 79–82.Google Scholar
- Richardson, K.K., Richardson, F.C., Crosby, R.M., Swenberg, J.A., Skopek, T.R. (1987). DNA base changes and alkylation following in vivo exposure of Escherichia coli to N-methyl-N-nitrosourea or N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 84: 344–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar