Osmotic shock prevents nuclear exchange and produces whole-genome homozygotes in conjugating Tetrahymena

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Science  16 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4381, pp. 660-663
DOI: 10.1126/science.760210


Exposure of conjugating Tetrahymena to a hyperosmotic shock blocks the exchange of gametic nuclei and produces self-fertilized exconjugants that are homozygous for their whole genome. Cells are sensitive to this induction during a brief period after meiosis. The high efficiency of the treatment and the fertility of the progeny make this a useful method for the isolation of induced recessive mutations and enhances the value of Tetrahymena as an animal-cell model system in which genetic dissection is practical. The sharp peak of sensitivity is useful in the study of those cellular mechanisms responsible for the independent handling of several functionally distinct nuclei during conjugation.