Discovery of DNA mutagenic action in the light of lateral genomics

  • I. S. Karpova


Aim. To acquaint new generation of scientists with S.M. Gershenson’s discovery of mutagenic action of DNA and its relation to contemporary trends in Genetics. The article reviews experimental results of the extensive investigations on the fenomenology and peculiarity of DNA-mutagenicity obtained with help of different methods and objects are discussed in connection with the hypothesis of insertional mechanisms proposed by S.M. Gershenson. According to this hypothesis the mechanism of mutagenic action of heterological nucleic acids resembles the activation of mobile genetic elements (МGE), being factors of natural genetic engeneering. Current data concerning lateral gene transfer between distantly related organisms show that uptake of heterological genetic information in the early period of beginnings of life might play a main role in molecular evolution and origin of species. Conclusions. So experiments on DNA mutagenicity in light of lateral genomics show that investigator in laboratory can effectively simulate the natural process of foreign DNA-DNA interactions which is accompanied by mutational events.

Keywords: mutagenic action of DNA, genetic instability, mobile elements, lateral genomics.