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Genetics. Oct 1980; 96(2): 367–378.
PMCID: PMC1214305

Meiosis in NEUROSPORA CRASSA. I. the Isolation of Recessive Mutants Defective in the Production of Viable Ascospores


A scheme has been devised for efficient isolation of recessive meiotic mutants of Neurospora crassa. These mutants were detected by their reduced fertility or by the abortion of ascospores. Their isolation involved the selection and screening of strains arising from ascospores disomic (n + 1) for linkage group I (LG I), which bears the mating-type locus. These strains are self-fertile heterokaryons that contain two types of haploid nuclei of opposite mating type (A + a). Selfings of these strains are homozygous for genes on all linkage groups except LGI and therefore allow the expression of recessive mutants with an altered sexual cycle. Using this selection procedure, three classes of mutants were detected. In one class, mutants had an early block in perithecial development (class I), and in another mutants had altered perithecia, but apparently unaltered fertility (class III). No recessive mutants were observed and all mutants tested (eight of class I and two of class III) were expressed only when used as the maternal parent. A third mutant class displayed normal production of perithecia, but defective formation of asci (class IIA), or black ascospores (class IIB). Four of 13 class IIA mutants were analyzed, and two of them [asc(DL131) and asc(DL400)] were definitely recessive. Analysis of 10 of 13 class IIB mutants disclosed six recessive, mutually complementing mutants: asc(DL95), asc(DL243), asc(DL711), asc(DL879), asc(DL917m) and asc(DL961). Mutants asc(DL95), asc(DL243) and the previously studied mei-1 mutant (Smith 1975) complemented one another in crosses, but did not recombine. These may be alleles of the same gene, or they may comprise a gene cluster.

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Selected References

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