We describe fast and reproducible sensitivity assays to quantify the response of Arabidopsis seedlings of different genotypes to a wide range of DNA damaging agents. We apply (1) γ-irradiation, which produces DNA breaks, (2) bleocin, a radiomimetic drug, (3) mitomycin C, a DNA intrastrand cross-linker, (4) hydroxyurea, an inhibitor of DNA synthesis and (5) UV-C, which causes mainly photoproducts. The “true leaf assay” and the “UV resistance assay” are based on easily determined phenotypes as readouts. Using a set of diverse damaging agents combined with different readouts allows establishing relative sensitivity/resistance compared to a reference line, e.g. wild type, determining the most effective type of induced damage and the potential repair pathway affected.
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