Mitotic gene conversion lengths, coconversion patterns, and the incidence of reciprocal recombination in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae plasmid system.

B. Y. Ahn, D. M. Livingston

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Plasmids capable of undergoing genetic exchange in mitotically dividing Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells were used to measure the length of gene conversion events, to determine patterns of coconversion when multiple markers were present, and to correlate the incidence of reciprocal recombination with the length of conversion tracts. To construct such plasmids, restriction site linkers were inserted both within the HIS3 gene and in the flanking sequences, and two different his3- alleles were placed in a vector. Characterization of the genetic exchanges in these plasmids showed that most occur with the conversion of one his3- allele. Many of these events included coconversions in which more than one marker along the allelic sequence was replaced. The frequency of coconversion decreased with the distance between two markers such that markers further than 1 kilobase apart were infrequently coconverted. From these results the average length of conversion was determined to be approximately 0.5 kilobase. Examination of coconversions involving three or more markers revealed an almost obligatory, simultaneous coconversion pattern of all markers. Thus, when two markers which flank an intervening marker are converted, the intervening marker is 20 times more likely to be converted than to remain unchanged. The results of these studies also showed that the incidence of reciprocal recombination, which accompanies more than 20% of the conversion events, is more frequent when the conversion tract is longer than average.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3685-3693
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1986 Nov 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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