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UV-inducible DNA repair in the cyanobacteria Anabaena spp.

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  • Research Article


Strains of the filamentous cyanobacteria Anabaena spp. were capable of very efficient photoreactivation of UV irradiation-induced damage to DNA. Cells were resistant to several hundred joules of UV irradiation per square meter under conditions that allowed photoreactivation, and they also photoreactivated UV-damaged cyanophage efficiently. Reactivation of UV-irradiated cyanophage (Weigle reactivation) also occurred; UV irradiation of host cells greatly enhanced the plaque-forming ability of irradiated phage under nonphotoreactivating conditions. Postirradiation incubation of the host cells under conditions that allowed photoreactivation abolished the ability of the cells to perform Weigle reactivation of cyanophage N-1. Mitomycin C also induced Weigle reactivation of cyanophage N-1, but nalidixic acid did not. The inducible repair system (defined as the ability to perform Weigle reactivation of cyanophages) was relatively slow and inefficient compared with photoreactivation.

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