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Apparent resistance to mutagenesis by ionizing radiation, and some other unusual responses

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It is pointed out that in some species it is very difficult or even apparently impossible to get genetic visible marker mutants by means of ionizing radiation. Such results are not as a rule published. Species in which no mutants at all could be obtained, after what seem to be adequate efforts by several geneticists are Limnaea peregra, Rhynchosciara angelae, Coelopa frigida, Oncopeltus fasciatus, Dermestes maculatus. Published data on Sciara, Tribolium, Blattella, in which a relative difficulty in getting mutants is reported, are discussed and compared to many other forms in which obtaining marker mutants is on the contrary easy. What appears to be very abnormal mutagenesis is described in Drosophila busckii, which yielded an unusual frequency of autosomal dominants, and Drosophila nebulosa, in which only very poor mutants could be obtained. Possible reasons for all these departures from the usual are discussed. No firm conclusions are reached, but one is led to consider the possible effects of overall chromosome structure, presence or absence of heterochromatin, and multiplicity at the single locus or single polytene band level. There seems to be no relation between the rates of induction of dominant lethality and of point mutation for visible markers.

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Communicated by M.M. Green

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Fabergé, A.C. Apparent resistance to mutagenesis by ionizing radiation, and some other unusual responses. Mol Gen Genet 192, 354–360 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00392174

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  • Radiation
  • Point Mutation
  • Single Locus
  • Firm Conclusion
  • Chromosome Structure