Mechanism of Induced Mutagenesis by Ultraviolet Light in Escherichia coli

  • M. Ruiz-Rubio
Part of the Advances in Mutagenesis Research book series (MUTAGENESIS, volume 4)


The genetic prosperity of organisms is dependent on the preservation of their genome. To that aim living cells require a reliable mechanism of replication. Thus, it is not surprising that error frequencies of replication are generally only 10−9 to 10−10 per replicated nucleotide (for a review, see Echols and Goodman 1991). On the other hand, many physical and chemical agents in our environment can jeopardize the genetic information by the formation of lesions in the DNA that may block DNA replication or cause changes in its sequence (mutations). Nevertheless, organisms have developed an important diversity in enzymatic pathways for the removal or tolerance of DNA damage (for a comprehensive review, see Friedberg 1985; Sedgwick 1986). In some instances when error-free repair is not possible or fails, the mechanisms of tolerance may allow sequence changes, leading to mutations that generate variability, thus making evolution possible. Without versatile mechanisms that permit mutations to occur, organisms might never have existed as we know them today, or might have become extinct a long time ago due to the inability to cope with certain forms of strong selective pressure.


RecA Protein Pyrimidine Dimer Suppressor Mutation Cyclobutane Pyrimidine Dimer Translesion Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ruiz-Rubio
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Genética, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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