Inducing somatic recombination

In summary, the conversation discusses a technique for observing the effects of a lethal mutation on an embryo by inducing the mutation later in life using a gene that induces mitotic crossing-over. This technique allows for the survival of heterozygous animals and the observation of a desired genotype through the use of a pigmentation-causing construct and specific genes such as FLP/FRT or Cre/Lox. The conversation also references a website explaining the use of the Cre/Lox system in mouse genetics research.
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Monique

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Again such a nicely orchistrated technique. Used, for instance, when you’d like to look at a mutation which is lethal to an embryo: you’ll have to induce the mutation later in life in order to actually observe the effects.

What to do? Insert a gene that induces mitotic crossing-over and place it under a heat-shock promotor. So when the time is ripe, the animal/plant is exposed to a moderately high temperature for maybe 10 minutes after which chromosomal segments will be exchanged during mitosis.

Now, if you have an animal that was heterozygous for the mutation (one chromosome has it, the other not) the cell can survive, because there is still one functional gene. During mitosis, the chromosomes are duplicated.. it’ll have 2 genes with the mutation and 2 genes without the mutation. During normal mitosis the daughter cells will ALWAYS end up with the initial configuration of 1 mutated and 1 healthy gene. But since the gene is expressed that messes with the segregation of the chromosomes, some daughter cells will have 2 healthy genes and others 2 genes carrying the mutation -> the genotype you wanted to look at.

How do you know which cells carry both mutations? By placing a construct next to that gene which causes a pigmentation when this process has occurred correctly.

Very interesting technique, genes used are FLP/FRT or Cre/Lox.
 
Biology news on Phys.org

What is somatic recombination?

Somatic recombination is the process by which segments of DNA are rearranged or exchanged within a cell, resulting in genetic diversity and potentially new genetic traits.

What is the purpose of inducing somatic recombination?

Inducing somatic recombination can be used to study the function of specific genes, create new genetic traits, and potentially treat genetic diseases by repairing or replacing damaged genes.

How is somatic recombination induced?

Somatic recombination can be induced through various methods such as exposure to radiation or chemicals, or through genetic engineering techniques.

What are the potential risks of inducing somatic recombination?

There is a risk of unintended genetic changes or mutations when inducing somatic recombination, which could lead to negative consequences such as the development of disease or other abnormalities.

What are the ethical considerations surrounding induced somatic recombination?

Inducing somatic recombination raises ethical concerns as it involves manipulating the genetic makeup of living organisms, which could have unknown consequences and raise questions about the morality of altering nature.

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