Mar 21, 1969

Mapping of deletions and substitutions in heteroduplex DNA molecules of bacteriophage lambda by electron microscopy

B C WestmorelandH Ris


Electron microscopy of heteroduplex DNA molecules, composed of one strand of Escherichia coli phage lambda(+) DNA annealed to the complementary DNA strand of a lambda deletion or substitution mutant, permits visualization, as well as precise measurements and mapping, of the unpaired single-stranded regions of nonhomology in the otherwise double-stranded molecules. In the lambdab2 mutant, the central segment (13 percent) of the lambda(+) DNA molecule is shown to be deleted. In the hybrid phages lambda(i434) and lambda(i21) a segment of the right arm of the lambda(+) genome (5.5 or 7.6 to 9 percent) is replaced by the corresponding immunity regions of phage 434 (3.3 percent or phage 21 (4 percent) DNA. The b5 region in the lambdab5 mutant appears to be identical to the i(21) segment. From these data it is possible to estimate the size and posiion of those lambda genes which are replaced by the i(434) and i(21) segments. The method permits preparing complete physical maps of viral genomes with a precision heretofore unattainable.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Centrifugation, Density Gradient
DNA, Viral
Genome Mapping
Electron Microscopy

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