Multiple-pathway analysis of double-strand break repair mutations in Drosophila

PLoS Genet. 2007 Apr 13;3(4):e50. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030050. Epub 2007 Feb 21.


The analysis of double-strand break (DSB) repair is complicated by the existence of several pathways utilizing a large number of genes. Moreover, many of these genes have been shown to have multiple roles in DSB repair. To address this complexity we used a repair reporter construct designed to measure multiple repair outcomes simultaneously. This approach provides estimates of the relative usage of several DSB repair pathways in the premeiotic male germline of Drosophila. We applied this system to mutations at each of 11 repair loci plus various double mutants and altered dosage genotypes. Most of the mutants were found to suppress one of the pathways with a compensating increase in one or more of the others. Perhaps surprisingly, none of the single mutants suppressed more than one pathway, but they varied widely in how the suppression was compensated. We found several cases in which two or more loci were similar in which pathway was suppressed while differing in how this suppression was compensated. Taken as a whole, the data suggest that the choice of which repair pathway is used for a given DSB occurs by a two-stage "decision circuit" in which the DSB is first placed into one of two pools from which a specific pathway is then selected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • DNA Repair / physiology
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / chemistry
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / genetics


  • DNA, Single-Stranded