variable mutation rate

Andrew_Maillet andrew_maillet at
Mon Mar 16 15:11:12 EST 1998

Agner Fog <----Remove-to-reply----Agner at> wrote in article
<6db26a$5ri at>...
> Is there any evidence that any organisms 'actively' increase their
> rate under adverse conditions?  By 'actively' I mean a specific evolved 
> mechanism for regulating mutation rate, as opposed to haphazard
mechanisms such 
> as the organism having less resources for DNA repair when starving.
> I haven't found any such evidence in the litterature. If it exists then
> point to the reference.
====-------------------------agner at
> Agner Fog, Ph.D.                 See my electronic book: 'Cultural
> Denmark                          at:

I believe that Barbara Mclintock's work in maize showed an activation of
transposable elements in response to environmental stress.  I am not
entriely familiar with this work and it may be, as you say a haphazard
mechanism due to a lack of control resources.

Andrew Maillet

University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Worcester Massachusetts 01655 

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