Delbrück and Luria won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine partly for this work.
The experiment[change | change source]
In their experiment, Luria and Delbrück grew bacteria in tubes. After a period of growth, they split up the bacteria into separate cultures and put them onto agar containing phage (virus). If virus resistance were not due to random gene mutations, then each plate should contain roughly the same number of resistant colonies. This, however was not what Delbrück and Luria found. Instead, the number of resistant colonies on each plate varied to a great extent.
Luria and Delbrück proposed that these results could be explained by the occurrence of a constant rate of random mutations in each generation of bacteria growing in the initial culture tubes.
References[change | change source]
- Luria, S.E. (1943). "Mutations of bacteria from virus sensitivity to virus resistance". Genetics. 28 (6): 491–511. Unknown parameter
- Newcombe, H.B. (1949). "Origin of bacterial variants". Nature. 164: 150–151. doi:10.1038/164150a0.
- Slechta, E.S. (2002). "Evidence that selected amplification of a bacterial lac frameshift allele stimulates Lac(+) reversion (adaptive mutation) with or without general hypermutability". Genetics. 161 (3): 945–956. PMC 1462195. PMID 12136002. Unknown parameter