Chi mutation in a transposon and the orientation-dependence of Chi phenotype.

E. Yagil*, N. A. Dower, D. Chattoraj, M. Stahl, C. Pierson, F. W. Stahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chi, an element that stimulates recombination via the E. coli RecBC pathway, can arise by spontaneous mutation in the transposon Tn5. When in phage lambda in one orientation, the mutant transposon confers Chi+ phenotype (large plaque and a high rate of exchange near the transposon). In the other orientation, however, the transposon does not confer Chi+ phenotype. The mobility of the transposon allows us to show that the Chi+ orientation of the mutant Tn5 is the same at different locations in lambda. These include a site near gene J, one in gam at 69, one to the right of gam at 73 and several to the right of R between 95.7 and 99.5. To the right of R, the mutant transposon could be found in only one orientation, that which confers Chi+ phenotype. We speculate that the other orientation of Tn5 in that locale is lethal to lambda. The orientation-dependence of Chi+ phenotype also revealed that Tn5 flip-flops in lambda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1980


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