Summary: Various streptomycetes show well defined instabilities that do not appear to be attributable to plasmid loss. The unstable phenotype, in many cases, arises at frequencies too high to be explained by point mutations. The frequency of instability can be enhanced by UV irradiation. Two major repair systems have been found in : the ‘error-free’ system which is inhibited by caffeine and the ‘error-prone’ system which is inhibited by arsenite. Using spores of NRRL 8057 and the virulent actinophage VC11 we have shown that a caffeine inhibitable, host mediated UV repair system is active in spores during early development. Some evidence was also found for the presence of an arsenite inhibitable UV repair system. The caffeine inhibitable UV repair system was found to be involved in the induction of genetic instability in . The arsenite system may be implicated in the repair of such events. Genetic instability was also induced by single strand breaks in DNA caused by P.


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