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Caenorhabditis elegans -- Genetics, Oxidative stress -- Molecular aspects, Mutation (Biology)


We explored the relationship between relaxed selection, oxidative stress, and spontaneous mutation in a set of mutationaccumulation (MA) lines of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and in their common ancestor. We measured steady-state levels of free radicals and oxidatively damaged guanosine nucleosides in the somatic tissues of five MA lines for which nuclear genome base substitution and GC-TA transversion frequencies are known. The two markers of oxidative stress are highly correlated and are elevated in the MA lines relative to the ancestor; point estimates of the per-generation rate of mutational decay (DM) of these measures of oxidative stress are similar to those reported for fitness-related traits. Conversely, there is no significant relationship between either marker of oxidative stress and the per-generation frequencies of base substitution or GC-TA transversion. Although these results provide no direct evidence for a causative relationship between oxidative damage and base substitution mutations, to the extent that oxidative damage may be weakly mutagenic in the germline, the case for condition-dependent mutation is advanced.


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Copyright 2013 Joyner-Matos et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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