Genetic Characterization and Use of a Restriction Fragment Length Variant in the Hypotrichous Ciliate Euplotes crassus

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Two forms of a macronuclear DNA molecule differing in the presence or absence of a restriction endonuclease recognition site have been detected in the hypotrichous ciliate Euplotes crassus. Through a series of genetic crosses the two forms were shown to be allelic, being derived from a single micronuclear genetic locus. This restriction fragment length variant (RFLV) was used as a genetic marker to determine that the migratory and stationary pronuclei generated during mating can be genetically non-identical. In addition, the RFLV was used to investigate the efficiency of processing of the alternate alleles during macronuclear development and their subsequent transmission during vegetative growth. Little or no bias in the processing and/or amplification of the two alleles was observed during macronuclear development. During vegetative growth, however, changes in the relative amounts of the two alleles were observed.



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