Mutagenesis in Oocytes of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER. I. Scheduled Synthesis of Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA and Unscheduled DNA Synthesis.
As a model system for studying mutagenesis, the oocyte of Drosophila melanogaster has exhibited considerable complexity. Very few experiments have been conducted on the effect of exposing oocytes to chemical mutagens, presumably due to their lower mutational response relative to sperm and spermatids. This lower response may be due either to a change in probability of mutation induction per adduct due to a change in the type of DNA repair or to a lower dose of the mutagen to the female germ line. To study molecular dosimetry and DNA repair in the oocyte, the large number of intracellular constituents (mtDNA, RNA, nucleic acid precursors and large quantities of proteins and lipids) must be separated from nuclear DNA. In this paper we present results showing reliable separation of such molecules enabling us to detect scheduled nuclear and mitochondrial DNA synthesis. We also, by understanding the precise timing of such events, can detect unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) as a measure of DNA repair. Furthermore, by comparing the UDS results in a repair competent (Ore-R) vs. a repair deficient (mei-9(L1 )) strain, we have shown the oocyte capable of DNA repair after treatment with ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS). We conclude that the important determinant of mutation induction in oocytes after treatment with EMS is the time interval between DNA alkylation and DNA synthesis after fertilization, i.e., the interruption of continuous DNA repair.
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