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Genetics of Bacteria mutagenic treatment question

  1. Oct 26, 2013 #1
    Q: Which of the following mutagenic treatments would be least effective in creating a mutation in non-replicating cells? Explain your choice.
    a. Treatment with a deaminating agent like nitrous acid
    b. Treatment with an alkylating agent like MMS
    c. Treatment by exposure to UV
    d. Exposure to excess superoxide radicals
    e. Treatment with a base analog like 2-aminopurine





    I said:
    a. Treatment with a deaminating agent like nitrous acid
    Deamination causes base pair changes so mutants arise after replication

    b. Treatment with an alkylating agent like MMS
    Alkylating bases mispair.. problem for replicating cells

    c. Treatment by exposure to UV

    d. UV causes pyrimidine dimmers. DNA pol cannot replicate through a dimer so lethal to cells if not repaired

    e. Exposure to excess superoxide radicals
    8-oxoG mispairs with adenine

    f. Treatment with a base analog like 2-aminopurine
    potent mutagen that causes G:T and T:G misicorporations, i.e., it is also a transition mutagen.


    So the problem is that all of them really just cause mismatches.. which means none would be effective for non-replicating cells? What am I missing? :/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2013 #2

    epenguin

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    I think you are missing thinking about how a mutagenesis experiment would normally be done.

    At the moment the experiment is done the cells, in this case we are told, are not growing. But afterwards the mutants are not detected by looking at each cell, one by one, and if so how would the mutation be detected? We have to assume that after the treatment the mutagenic agent is removed and then the cells are grown without and probably plated out on a selective medium (or just plated out immediately after the mutagenic treatment and then they grow from single cells to visible colonies) to detect the mutants.

    You probably have an account of such experiments in your textbook.

    I think you should look again at each case with that in mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  4. Oct 27, 2013 #3

    Ygggdrasil

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    All but one of those treatments will damage the DNA of the bacteria whether the cell is dividing or not. Only one of those will not cause changes to the DNA when the cells are not replicating, but will cause copying errors during DNA replication.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2013 #4
    I'm guessing that is the UV damage? Thanks!
     
  6. Oct 27, 2013 #5

    Ygggdrasil

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    Although DNA polymerase III (the polymerase responsible for most DNA replication in bacteria) cannot synthesize past the pyrimidine dimers, bacteria contain other DNA polymerases (e.g. DNA pol IV and DNA pol V) that can perform translesion synthesis and bypass thymine dimers.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2013 #6

    epenguin

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    Think again - the answer is more simple and self-evident and no need to guess, at least if you know what these various agents do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  8. Oct 30, 2013 #7

    epenguin

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    We seem to have lost the OP. This is a very simple question. There are thes various and complicated mechanisms to avoid or make good the damage, but in one of the cases there wouldn't be any damage in non-growing cells.
     
  9. Oct 30, 2013 #8
    I don't really know the answer. It makes since that UV could be repaired by other enzymes.. sorry I don't see how it's so "simple".
     
  10. Oct 30, 2013 #9

    epenguin

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    Forget about repair. Repair does not come into this. How does the DNA get damaged in the first place? Go through each case. How does growth, replication, come into it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  11. Nov 1, 2013 #10
    I read my book again and the only thing I can imagine is that oxidation does not happen to the non-growing cells.. :/
     
  12. Nov 1, 2013 #11

    Ygggdrasil

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    Imagine you have purified DNA in a test tube. Expose that DNA to each of the five mutagens from the question. Which of these mutagens will chemically alter the DNA in the test tube (here it's useful to think of the chemistry of how each mutagen alters the DNA), and which ones will not?
     
  13. Nov 1, 2013 #12
    I have given up on this problem!

    Thanks anyways
     
  14. Nov 3, 2013 #13

    epenguin

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    The ethos of this site is we do not do the homework for the students. Problems may involve a series of stages and our help often consists in splitting the problem up into stages, which I and Ygggdrasil have tried to do, and then asking back about the first step, etc.. Then without seeing an attempt by you to e.g. answer Ygggdrasil's last question we also must abandon it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  15. Nov 3, 2013 #14
    Yeah I would have deleted this board but Idk how.
     
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