Abnormal chromosome behavior in Neurospora mutants defective in DNA methylation

Science  10 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5140, pp. 1737-1741
DOI: 10.1126/science.7505062


The function and regulation of DNA methylation in eukaryotes remain unclear. Genes affecting methylation were identified in the fungus Neurospora crassa. A mutation in one gene, dim-2, resulted in the loss of all detectable DNA methylation. Abnormal segregation of the methylation defects in crosses led to the discovery that the methylation mutants frequently generate strains with extra chromosomes or chromosomal parts. Starvation for S-adenosylmethionine, the presumed methyl group donor for DNA methylation, also produced aneuploidy. These results suggest that DNA methylation plays a role in the normal control of chromosome behavior.

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