Nonreciprocal exchange between alleles of the yeast mitochondrial 21S rRNA gene: Kinetics and the involvement of a double-strand break

Andrew R. Zinn, Ronald A. Butow

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A 1.1 kb intron containing an open reading frame (ORF) in one allele (ω+) of the yeast mitochondrial 21S rRNA gene is nearly quantitatively inserted in crosses into a 21S rRNA allele lacking that Intron (ω-). We have determined that this nonreciprocal exchange initiates soon after cells fuse to form zygotes and is complete by 10-16 hr after mating. We have discovered a unique in vivo double-strand cut in ω- mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) at or near the site of intron insertion that is implicated in the process. Markers flanking the intron insertion site are coconverted with frequencies inversely proportional to their distance from that site. There is no net conversion of ω- to ω+ in crosses between petites retaining these alleles, nor do we observe the unique double-strand cut in the mtDNA from zygotes of such crosses. The data suggest that a translation product of the intron ORF is required for the double-strand cut and nonreciprocal recombination at ω.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-895
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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