heterokaryon test

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A test for organelle mutations based upon the appearance of unexpected phenotypes in uninucleate cells derived from specially marked heterokaryons. For example, suppose that heterokaryons form between colonies thought to carry a mitochondrial mutant (A) and colonies carrying a known nuclear mutation (B). If uninucleate progeny cells or spores exhibiting both the A and the B phenotypes can be derived from the heterokaryons, then the A mutation is probably in an extranuclear gene, because recombination of nuclear genes does not occur in heterokaryons.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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