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Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNAA History of "The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology"$
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Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300085402

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300085402.001.0001

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The Big Machine

The Big Machine

(p.183) Chapter Six The Big Machine
Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA

Frederic Lawrence Holmes

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses Stahl's success in his initial efforts to produce mutant stocks of 5-BU substituted T4 phage, which encouraged him to elaborate his plans for their genetic characterization. Stahl intended to map the mutations to see whether they gave “classical segregation patterns,” and he had already asked Seymour Benzer to map those in the rII region for comparison with the fine structure maps Benzer had produced for normal T4 phage. With “non-viable members of a substituted stock” he planned cross-reactivation experiments to determine whether the reactivation was “primarily by crossing over or by the replacement of lost gene functions.” After that, he envisioned multiplicity reactivation experiments, whose nature would depend on the cross-reactivation results.

Keywords:   mutant stocks, 5-BU substituted T4 phage, genetic characterization, mutations, Seymour Benzer, rII region, cross-reactivation experiments, multiplicity reactivation experiments

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