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Differences were observed in the developmental cycle of mutants derived by mutagenesis with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine from the AdB and AdS strains of Anabaena doliolum, as compared with the life cycle of wild type strains. The mutant AdS-61A differed from the parental AdS strain by the formation of aseriate masses of cells in liquid culture medium, followed by the production of hormogonia after inoculation on nutrient agar plates. The subsequent development followed two different pathways: some of the cells produced colonies, while others differentiated heterocysts, but never formed colonies. In the former case, the colonies produced in tum other hormogonia. The subsequent common developmental phases were: filament formation, loss of connection between the adjacent vegetative cells, and formation of an undifferentiated mass of cells (aseriate stage). In contrast, the sequence of development in the mutant AdS-61B included formation of hormogonia and of a vegetative filament, while the mutants AdB-34 and AdS-5 reproduced exclusively by filament formation. A detailed investigation of the mutants revealed that the pattern of their life cycle can be modified by mutagenesis. In the mutant AdS-61A, hormogonium production and colony formation were dependent on the wavelength and intensity of light and, to some extent, on the photosynthetic reaction, although the role of nonphotosynthetic light cannot be ignored. The absence of combined nitrogen sources favored hormogonium production, whereas their presence favored colony formation. In contrast to colony formation, hormogonium production was insensitive to protein synthesis inhibitors. Isolation of a series of mutants unable to produce hormogonia suggested that hormogonium formation is a genetically controlled process.

Affiliations: 1: Center of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University


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