Bacteria can repair damaged DNA that contains errors resulting from the incorporation of wrong nucleotides by a variety of mechanisms. These include proofreading by DNA polymerase, and excising the nucleotide errors by mismatch repair. Thymine dimers can be repaired through light and dark repair mechanisms and the damage overcome by the SOS repair system.

■ How does UV light cause mutations?

■ Distinguish between light and dark repair of thymine dimers.

■ If you wish to maximize the number of mutations following UV irradiation, should you incubate the irradiated cells in the light or in the dark, or does it make any difference? Explain your answer.

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