Development and application of novel constructs to score C:G-to-T:A transitions and homologous recombination in Arabidopsis

Gert Van der Auwera, Joke Baute, Melanie Bauwens, Ingrid Peck, Denis Piette, Michael Pycke, Pieter Asselman, Anna Depicker

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    We report on the development of five missense mutants and one recombination substrate of the beta-glucuronidase (GUS)-encoding gene of Escherichia coli and their use for detecting mutation and recombination events in transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants by reactivation of GUS activity in clonal sectors. The missense mutants were designed to find C:G-to-T:A transitions in a symmetrical sequence context and are in that respect complementary to previously published GUS point mutants. Small peptide tags (hemagglutinin tag and Strep tag II) and green fluorescent protein were translationally fused to GUS, which offers possibilities to check for mutant GUS production levels. We show that spontaneous mutation and recombination events took place. Mutagenic treatment of the plants with ethyl methanesulfonate and ultraviolet-C increased the number of mutations, validating the use of these constructs to measure mutation and recombination frequencies in plants exposed to biotic or abiotic stress conditions, or in response to different genetic backgrounds. Plants were also subjected to heavy metals, methyl jasmonate, salicylic acid, and heat stress, for which no effect could be seen. Together with an ethyl methanesulfonate mutation induction level much higher than previously described, the need is illustrated for many available scoring systems in parallel. Because all GUS missense mutants were cloned in a bacterial expression vector, they can also be used to score mutation events in E. coli.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPlant Physiology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)22-31
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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