W, X, and Y are the intermediates (in that order) in abiochemical pathway whose product is Z. Z− mutantsare found in five different complementation groups.Z1 mutants will grow on Y or Z, but not W or X. Z2mutants will grow on X, Y, or Z. Z3 mutants will onlygrow on Z. Z4 mutants will grow on Y or Z. Finally,Z5 mutants will grow on W, X, Y, or Z.a. Order the five complementation groups in terms ofthe steps they block.b. What does this genetic information reveal aboutthe nature of the enzyme that carries out theconversion of X to Y?

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Asked Mar 10, 2020
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W, X, and Y are the intermediates (in that order) in a
biochemical pathway whose product is Z. Z− mutants
are found in five different complementation groups.
Z1 mutants will grow on Y or Z, but not W or X. Z2
mutants will grow on X, Y, or Z. Z3 mutants will only
grow on Z. Z4 mutants will grow on Y or Z. Finally,
Z5 mutants will grow on W, X, Y, or Z.
a. Order the five complementation groups in terms of
the steps they block.
b. What does this genetic information reveal about
the nature of the enzyme that carries out the
conversion of X to Y?

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Expert Answer

Step 1

A biochemical pathway represents an ordered set of reactions that must occur to produce a product. It is given that W, X and Y are the intermediates in a pathway for producing product Z. The lack of any enzyme along the way will cause the phenotype of Z, but the block can occur at different places along the pathway. If the mutant grows when given an intermediate compound, the enzymatic (and hence gene) defect must be before production of that intermediate compound.

Step 2

a)   The Z1 mutants that grow on Y or Z (but not on W or X) must have a defect in the enzyme that produces Y. Z2 mutants have a defect prior to X; Z3 mutants have a defect prior to Z; Z4 mutants have a defect prior to Y; Z5 mutants have a defect prior to W. The five complementation groups can be placed in order of activity within the biochemical pathway as follows:

 

  &nb...

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