Klein HL1, Ang KKH2, Arkin MR2, Beckwitt EC3,4, Chang YH5, Fan J6, Kwon Y7,8, Morten MJ1, Mukherjee S9, Pambos OJ6, El Sayyed H6, Thrall ES10, Vieira-da-Rocha JP9, Wang Q11, Wang S12,13, Yeh HY5, Biteen JS14, Chi P5,15, Heyer WD9,16, Kapanidis AN6, Loparo JJ10, Strick TR12,13,17, Sung P7,8, Van Houten B3,3,18, Niu H11, Rothenberg E1
Genomes are constantly in flux, undergoing changes due to recombination, repair and mutagenesis. In vivo, many of such changes are studies using reporters for specific types of changes, or through cytological studies that detect changes at the single-cell level. Single molecule assays, which are reviewed here, can detect transient intermediates and dynamics of events. Biochemical assays allow detailed investigation of the DNA and protein activities of each step in a repair, recombination or mutagenesis event. Each type of assay is a powerful tool but each comes with its particular advantages and limitations. Here the most commonly used assays are reviewed, discussed, and presented as the guidelines for future studies.