DNA Repair and Simple Recombination

  • Edward A. Birge


All organisms and some viruses have their own mechanisms for maintaining the integrity of their nucleic acid (i.e., for repairing any damage). Nevertheless, most organisms can undergo some sort of genetic transfer or exchange process(es). The two mechanisms may seem antithetical because recombination, the movement of genetic information from one molecule of nucleic acid to another, implies that a nucleic acid molecule loses its integrity and undergoes some kind of structural alteration. However, as is discussed in this chapter, many of the steps involved in completion of the recombination process are the same as those involved in repair, and recombination can be looked on as a process in which the potential for damage to the genetic information contained in a nucleic acid is outweighed by the potential benefit to be derived from new genetic information or from the ability to repair potentially lethal damage.


RecA Protein Pyrimidine Dimer Strand Exchange Strand Invasion LexA Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Birge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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