Tetrahymena micronuclear DNA fragments have been cloned in the plasmid pBR322. One clone, pTt 2512, has been found to contain the C-C-C-C-A-A hexanucleotide repeat which is also present in the macronuclear rDNA. Further restriction enzyme digestion and hybridization studies suggest that the clone also contains sequences that are not present in the somatic macronucleus. The flanking sequences of the C4A2 repeats in this clone were separated into four restriction fragments, one from one side and three from the other. These fragments were used as probes for Southern hybridization to study the organizations of similar sequences in the macronucleus and micronucleus. All four fragments hybridized to many fragments of restriction enzyme digested micronuclear DNA. However, none of these hybridizations were detected in the macronucleus. Thus, these families of repetitive DNA are completely eliminated from the macronucleus. Further analysis suggested that the four different sequences may be linked at other locations of the genome. Using nullisomic strains of Tetrahymena, it is found that at least one of these sequences is present in more than one chromosome. Studies of various normal and star strains of Tetrahymena suggest that these sequences are stable in the normal micronucleus but are altered drastically in the defective micronuclei of the star strains. Eliminated DNA of similar nature has also been found in at least five other randomly selected clones of micronuclear DNA and may be present widely in the genome.

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