The Shapes of the Radiation Dose-Mutation Response Curves in Drosophila: Mechanisms and Implications

  • S. Abrahamson
  • H. U. Meyer
  • C. DeJongh
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 21)


The major thesis we wish to make in this presentation is that radiation induced mutations, namely sex-linked recessive lethals in Drosophila and forward mutations at specific loci in Drosophila, mammals and lower eucaryotes, are the result of two sub-lesions or hits, induced by either single ionization tracks or by the interaction of two independent tracks for low LET radiations, when the dose is delivered in an acute fashion. This statement formally reduces to the well recognized linear quadratic expression: Y = C + αD + βD2 where C is the spontaneous frequency of events scored and α and β represent the coefficients of the dose. In practice, the curve is more complex because saturation occurs at high doses. This linear-quadratic relationship is most often applied to the yield of gross chromosome aberrations in plant and animal systems and was first demonstrated by Sax (1940). Lea (1955) and subsequently Neary (1965) and Kellerer and Rossi (1972) have developed the biophysical and microdosimetric framework for the empirically derived dose-response relationship.


Dose Rate Chromosome Aberration Neutron Energy Mouse Oocyte Acute Dose 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Abrahamson
    • 1
  • H. U. Meyer
    • 1
  • C. DeJongh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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