Radio-protective Chemicals and Genetic Recombination in Sordaria fimicola

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THE production of chromosome aberrations by X-rays is now a standard procedure. Certain types of treatment of the cells prior to or during the irradiation may, however, have a modifying effect. The number of chromosome aberrations is decreased with anoxic conditions1; increasing temperature and a constant partial pressure of oxygen2; a prior treatment to liquid air3; and a heat shock of about 80° C for 0.5 h before irradiation4. Treatment with such chemicals as glutathione, cysteine, sodium hyposulphite5, and BAL (2,3-dimercaptopropanol)6 has also reduced the number of chromosome aberrations. The purpose of the work recorded here was to determine if certain radio-protective chemicals would influence genetic recombination as determined by the frequency of second division segregation. These chemicals are cysteine, thiourea, and cystamine.

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