Radiation-induced untargeted germline mutations in Japanese medaka

O. Tsyusko, Y. Yi, D. Coughlin, D. Main, R. Podolsky, T. G. Hinton, T. C. Glenn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Radiation has been shown to increase mutation frequencies at tandem repeat loci by indirect interactions of radiation with DNA. We studied germline mutations in chronically exposed Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) using microsatellite loci. After screening 26 randomly selected loci among unirradiated parents and their 200 offspring, we selected seven highly mutable loci (0.5-1.0 × 10- 2 mutants per locus per gamete) and two bonus loci for further study. To determine if radiation exposure increases mutation frequencies in these loci, medaka were chronically irradiated from subadults through maturation at relatively low dose rates of 68 mGy/d. Total doses for males and females were 10.4 and 3 Gy, respectively. The mean number of mutations for the offspring of exposed families (0.149 ± 0.044) was significantly higher (P = 0.018) than for control families (0.080 ± 0.028), indicating induction of germline mutations from chronic irradiation. This increase in the microsatellite mutation rate is greater than expected from direct interaction of radiation with DNA, suggesting indirect, untargeted mechanism(s) for mutations. This study identified microsatellite loci with a high mutational background in medaka, variation among loci and families as important variables, and demonstrated the usefulness of this fish model for studying radiation-induced germline mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Richard Winn for providing medaka brood stocks, DNA and invaluable advice; Mandy Schable, Cris Hagen, Joe Nairn, Brant Faircloth and participants of the 2003 UGA microsatellite development workshop for assistance in isolating microsatellite loci. This work was partially supported by the Office of Science (BER), U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grant No.DE-FG02-05ER64087 and by the DOE through Financial Assistance Award No.DE-FC09-96-SR18546 to the University of Georgia Research Foundation.


  • Fitness
  • Germline mutations
  • Japanese medaka
  • Microsatellites
  • Oryzias latipes
  • Radiation
  • Spermatogonia
  • Untargeted mutations
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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