How common are common fragile sites: variation of aphidicolin-induced chromosomal fragile sites in a population of the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Academic Article uri icon


  • Aphidicolin (APC)-induced chromosomal gaps and breaks were analyzed for ten deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) from a natural population. The FSM statistical methodology was used to identify fragile sites as chromosomal loci exhibiting significantly non-random numbers of gaps/breaks in each individual and enabled an assessment of variation in fragile sites among the individuals. The individual deer mice exhibited as few as 7 to as many as 19 of the populational total of 34 sites. Two sites were fragile in all individuals and 13 sites were fragile in single individuals only. Defined by populational frequencies of greater than 50%, high-frequency fragile sites constituted 26% of the populational total. Approximately 35% of the total fragile sites were fragile in 20-40% of the population (low-frequency fragile sites) and about 38% were fragile in single individuals only. Analysis of the data pooled over all individuals identified significantly non-random breakage at 80 sites, 47 of which were not identified as fragile in any single individual. It appears, therefore, that fragile site identifications from pooled data have fostered an inflated estimate of the numbers and frequencies of common fragile sites. Comparison of the fragile site and spontaneous breakage (control) data suggest that APC-induced fragile sites represent regions of chromosomes that experience elevated levels of somatic mutation. Additionally, the occurrence of APC-induced fragile sites at or near the interstitial breakpoints of two pericentric-inversion polymorphisms in this population supports the hypothesis that fragile sites experience an increased rate of meiotic chromosomal mutation and are predisposed to undergo phylogenetic rearrangement.

published proceedings

  • Hum Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • McAllister, B. F., & Greenbaum, I. F.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • McAllister, BF||Greenbaum, IF

publication date

  • July 1997