The effects of insertions on mammalian intrachromosomal recombination

A. R. Godwin, R. M. Liskay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We examined the effects of insertion mutations on intrachromosomal recombination. A series of mouse L cell lines carrying mutant herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (tk) heteroalleles was generated; these lines differed in the nature of their insertion mutations. In direct repeat lines with different large insertions in each gene, there was a 20-fold drop in gene conversion rate and only a five-fold drop in crossover rate relative to the analogous rates in lines with small insertions in each gene. Surprisingly, in direct repeat lines carrying the same large insertion in each gene, there was a larger drop in both types of recombination. When intrachromosomal recombination between inverted repeat tk genes with different large insertions was examined, we found that the rate of gene conversion dropped five-fold relative to small insertions, while the rate of crossing over was unaffected. The differential effects on conversion and crossing over imply that gene conversion is more sensitive to insertion mutation size. Finally, the fraction of gene conversions associated with a crossover increased from 2% for inverted repeats with small insertions to 18% for inverted repeats with large insertions. One interpretation of this finding is that during intrachromosomal recombination in mouse cells long conversion tracts are more often associated with crossing over.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of insertions on mammalian intrachromosomal recombination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this