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Uniparental Inheritance and Replacement of Mitochondrial DNA in Neurospora tetrasperma
Genetics (1993)
  • Steven B. Lee, San Jose State University
  • J. W. Taylor
This study tested mechanisms proposed for maternal uniparental mitochondrial inheritance in Neurospora: (1) exclusion of conidial mitochondria by the specialized female reproductive structure, trichogyne, due to mating locus heterokaryon incompatibility and (2) mitochondrial input bias favoring the larger trichogyne over the smaller conidium. These mechanisms were tested by determining the modes of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) inheritance and transmission in the absence of mating locus heterokaryon incompatibility following crosses of uninucleate strains of Neurospora tetrasperma with trichogyne (trichogyne inoculated by conidia) and without trichogyne (hyphal fusion). Maternal uniparental mitochondrial inheritance was observed in 136 single ascospore progeny following both mating with and without trichogyne using mtDNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms to distinguish parental types. This suggests that maternal mitochondrial inheritance following hyphal fusions is due to some mechanism other than those that implicate the trichogyne. Following hyphal fusion, mutually exclusive nuclear migration permitted investigation of reciprocal interactions. Regardless of which strain accepted nuclei following seven replicate hyphal fusion matings, acceptor mtDNA was the only type detected in 34 hyphal plug and tip samples taken from the contact and acceptor zones. No intracellular mtDNA mixtures were detected. Surprisingly, 3 days following hyphal fusion, acceptor mtDNA replaced donor mtDNA throughout the entire colony. To our knowledge, this is the first report of complete mitochondrial replacement during mating in a filamentous fungus. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
  • mitochondrial DNA,
  • Neurospora tetrasperma
Publication Date
August, 1993
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Steven B. Lee and J. W. Taylor. "Uniparental Inheritance and Replacement of Mitochondrial DNA in Neurospora tetrasperma" Genetics Vol. 134 (1993)
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