1887

Abstract

With the aim of understanding sexual reproduction and phenotypic expression, a novel type of mating recently discovered in was investigated. Termed spontaneous zygogenesis (or Z-mating), it differs from F-mediated conjugation. Its products proved phenotypically unstable, losing part of the phenotype for which they were selected. Inactivation of a parental chromosome in the zygote is strongly suggested by fluctuation tests, respreading experiments, analysis of reisolates, and segregation of non-viable cells detected by epifluorescence staining. Some phenotypically haploid subclones were interpreted as stable noncomplementing diploids carrying an inactivated co-replicating chromosome. Pedigree analysis indicated that the genetic composition of such cells consisted of parental genomes or one parental plus a recombinant genome. Inactivation of a chromosome carrying a prophage resulted in the disappearance of both the ability to produce phage particles and the immunity to superinfection. Phage production signalled transient reactivation of such a chromosome and constituted a sensitive test for stable noncomplementing diploidy. Chromosome inactivation thus appears to be a spontaneous event in bacteria.

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2005-09-01
2020-08-15
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