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Genetics. 1988 May;119(1):35-41.

Nuclear migration and mitochondrial inheritance in the mushroom agaricus bitorquis.

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  • 1Mushroom Research Group, Center for Plant Biotechnology, Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Erindale Campus, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.


Mitochondrial (mt) DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were used as genetic markers for following mitochondrial inheritance in the mushroom Agaricus bitorquis. In many basidiomycetes, bilateral nuclear migration between paired homokaryotic mycelia gives rise to two discrete dikaryons which have identical nuclei but different cytoplasms. Although nuclear migration is rare in A. bitorquis, unidirectional nuclear migration occurred when a nuclear donating strain (8-1), was paired with a nuclear recipient strain (34-2). The dikaryon recovered over the nuclear recipient mate (Dik D) contained nuclei from both parents but only mitochondria from the recipient mate; thus nuclei of 8-1, but not mitochondria, migrated through the resident hyphae of 34-2 following hyphal anastomosis. The two mitochondrial types present in a dikaryon recovered at the junction of the two cultures (Dik A) segregated during vegetative growth. Dikaryotic cells having the 34-2 mitochondrial type grew faster than cells with the 8-1 mitochondrial type. Fruitbodies, derived from a mixed population of cells having the same nuclear components but different cytoplasms, were chimeric for mitochondrial type. The transmission of mitochondria was biased in favor of the 8-1 type in the spore progeny of the chimeric fruitbody. Protoplasts of dikaryon (Dik D), which contained both nuclear types but only the 34-2 mitochondrial type, were regenerated and homokaryons containing the 8-1 nuclear type and the 34-2 mitochondrial type were recovered.

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