Repair of cyclobutyl pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) in DNA is essential in most organisms to prevent biological damage by ultraviolet (UV) light. In higher plants tested thus far, UV-sensitive strains had higher initial damage levels or deficient repair of nondimer DNA lesions but normal CPD repair. This suggested that CPDs might not be important for biological lesions. The photosynthetic apparatus has also been proposed as a critical target. We have analyzed CPD induction and repair in the UV-sensitive rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar Norin 1 and its close relative UV-resistant Sasanishiki using alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis. Norin 1 is deficient in cyclobutyl pyrimidi.ne dimer photoreactivation and excision; thus, UV sensitivity correlates with deficient dimer repair.
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