Cytoplasmic inheritance in mammalian tissue culture cells

Douglas C. Wallace, Y. Pollack, C. L. Bunn, J. M. Eisenstadt

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21 Scopus citations


A series of intraspecific, interspecific and interorder somatic cell cybrids and hybrids have been prepared by fusions in which one of the parents contained the cytoplasmically inherited marker for chloramphenicol (CAP) resistance. A clear relationship has been established between the expression of the CAP-resistant (CAP-R) determinants in the fusion products and the genetic homology of the parents. With increased genetic divergence, the acceptability of the CAP-R mitochondria decreased. Intraspecific cybrids and hybrids of the same strain were stable for the CAP-R marker, while those between strains were stable only in CAP. Intergeneric mouse-hamster cybrids occurred at a high frequency but were unstable in CAP, while CAP suppressed hybrid formation 100-fold. Interorder cybrids (CAP-R human × CAP-S mouse) occurred either at a moderate frequency and were stable or at a low frequency and were unstable in CAP. Interorder hybrids could only be formed by challenging HAT-selected hybrids with CAP or by direct selection in ouabain and CAP. Reciprocal interorder crosses between CAP-R mouse and CAP-S human cells were unsuccessful. Interspecific cybrids contain only the chromosomes of the CAP-S parent. Interspecific hybrids selected directly in CAP segregated the chromosomes of the CAP-S parent, while hybrids selected in HAT and then CAP segregated those of the CAP-R parent. The mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) of all mouse-human cybrids and most HAT and then CAP-selected hybrids contain only the mtDNA of the CAP-S mouse parent. However, preliminary evidence suggests that one of these hybrids contains both mouse and human mtDNA sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-776
Number of pages19
JournalIn Vitro
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1976
Externally publishedYes


  • cybrid
  • hybrid
  • mammalian genetics
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • mitochondrial genetics
  • phylogenetic divergence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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