Gamma irradiation of dormant barley seeds has led to the production of DNA single-strand breaks, the liberation of inorganic phosphate, and the formation of phosphomonoester groups. For each single-strnad break produced in DNA, 0.22 molecules of inorganic phosphate were liberated and 1.1 molecules of phosphomonoester groups were formed. Of the phosphomonoester groups formed, 40% were 5′-phosphomonoesters. Only 8.6% of the 5′-termini produced by radiation were 5′-hydroxyl termini. The chemical mechanisms involved in the induction of single-strand breaks in the DNA of dormant barley seeds are discussed.

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