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Genetics. Aug 1997; 146(4): 1299–1309.
PMCID: PMC1208076

Allelic Specificity at the Het-C Heterokaryon Incompatibility Locus of Neurospora Crassa Is Determined by a Highly Variable Domain


In filamentous fungi, the ability to form a productive heterokaryon with a genetically dissimilar individual is controlled by specific loci termed het loci. Only strains homozygous for all het loci can establish a heterokaryon. In Neurospora crassa, 11 loci, including the mating-type locus, regulate the capacity to form heterokaryons. An allele of the het-c locus (het-c(OR)) of N. crassa has been previously characterized and encodes a nonessential 966 amino acid glycine-rich protein. Herein, we describe the genetic and molecular characterization of two het-c alleles, het-c(PA) and het-c(GR), that have a different specificity from that of het-c(OR), showing that vegetative incompatibility is mediated by multiple alleles at het-c. By constructing chimeric alleles, we show that het-c specificity is determined by a highly variable domain of 34-48 amino acids in length. In this regard, het-c is similar to loci that regulate recognition in other species, such as the (S) self-incompatibility locus in plants, the sexual compatibility locus in basidiomycetes and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in vertebrates.

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Selected References

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