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J Bacteriol. 1973 June; 114(3): 1143–1150.
PMCID: PMC285375

Isolation of Deoxyribonucleic Acid Methylase Mutants of Escherichia coli K-12


Fourteen deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and 10 ribonucleic acid (RNA) methylation mutants were isolated from Escherichia coli K-12 by examining the ability of nucleic acids prepared from clones of unselected mutagenized cells to accept methyl groups from wild-type crude extract. Eleven of the DNA methylation mutants were deficient in 5-methylcytosine (5-MeC) and were designated Dcm. Three DNA methylation mutants were deficient in N6-methyladenine (N6-MeA) and were designated Dam. Extracts of the mutants were tested for DNA-cytosine:S-adenosylmethionine and DNA-adenine:S-adenosylmethionine methyltransferase activities. With one exception, all of the mutants had reduced or absent activity. A representative Dcm mutation was located at 36 to 37 min and a representative Dam mutation was located in the 60-to 66-min region on the genetic map. The Dcm mutants had no obvious associated phenotypic abnormality. The Dam mutants were defective in their ability to restrict λ. None of the mutations had the effect of being lethal.

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