Damage-induced ectopic recombination in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Martin Kupiec, Rivka Steinlauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitotic recombination in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is induced when cells are irradiated with UV or X-rays, reflecting the efficient repair of damage by recombinational repair mechanisms. We have used multiply marked haploid strains that allow the simultaneous detection of several types of ectopic recombination events. We show that inter-chromosomal ectopic conversion of lys2 heteroalleles and, to a lesser extent, direct repeat recombination (DRR) between non-tandem repeats, are increased by DNA-damaging agents; in contrast, ectopic recombination of the naturally occurring Ty element is not induced. We have tested several hypotheses that could explain the preferential lack of induction of Ty recombination by DNA-damaging agents. We have found that the lack of induction cannot be explained by a cell cycle control or by an effect of the mating-type genes. We also found no role for the flanking long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the Ty in preventing the induction. Ectopic conversion, DRR, and forward mutation of artificial repeats show different kinetics of induction at various positions of the cell cycle, reflecting different mechanisms of recombination. We discuss the mechanistic and evolutionary aspects of these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research - DNA Repair
Issue number1
StatePublished - 9 Jun 1997


  • Cell cycle
  • Gene conversion
  • Genomic stability
  • Ty element


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