Calibrating EMS mutagenesis in Arabidopsis

Mark Camara mcamara at
Mon Jan 6 11:15:18 EST 1997

I need some advice.  I want to use EMS mutagenesis to introduce genetic
variability into a lab population of Arabidopsis thaliana, but my
requirements are different from usual approaches.  Rather than trying to
induce mutations affecting specific phenotypic traits and then seeking
to identify them, I am working on the POPULATION level and want to
induce an average of 1 point mutation per genome. 

I need this because I want to characterize not specific mutations, but
rather the average impact of a random mutation on genetic architecture. 
Most of what I have read indicates that in the search for "useful"
mutants, that EMS treatent is effective, but that one complication is
that when a mutant is found, the genetic background must be cleaned up
because there can be 2-100 other point mutations in the genome.

Can anyone provide a way to calibrate the EMS treatment so as to produce
this (average) rate of mutation? 

Thanks in advance,

Mark Camara
Botany Dept. U. Tenn, Knoxville

mcamara at

More information about the Arab-gen mailing list