Gene Conversion: Point-Mutation Heterozygosities Lower Heteroduplex Formation

EMBO J. 1983;2(12):2265-70.


The effects of heterozygosity on meiotic gene conversion characteristics have been studied in the fungus Ascobolus immersus. The non-Mendelian segregation patterns of seven white ascospore mutants of the b2 gene were established in the presence or the absence of additional neighbouring allelic mutations. These correspond to nine different double mutants with wild-type or pseudo-wild-type phenotypes, constituted by two +1, -1 frameshift mutations of complementary phases. When heterozygous, these double point mutations decrease, by an average of one third, the gene conversion frequencies of the mutants located on their right, toward the low conversion end of the gene. The decrease corresponds either to a reduction in all classes of non-Mendelian segregation (6:2, 5:3 and aberrant 4:4 asci) or to a reduction restricted to the single class of aberrant 4:4 asci. These modifications are explained by changes in hybrid DNA parameter values: frequencies of formation and modalities of distribution (asymmetric versus symmetric ratio). Besides the nature of the non-homology, point mutation versus deletion, which leads to quantitative differential effects, the region where the non-homology is located within the gene also appears to play an important role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ascomycota / genetics*
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Gene Conversion*
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Heterozygote*
  • Homozygote
  • Meiosis
  • Mutation*
  • Recombination, Genetic