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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Aug;79(15):4520-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00561-13. Epub 2013 May 10.

An MSH4 homolog, stpp1, from Pleurotus pulmonarius is a "silver bullet" for resolving problems caused by spores in cultivated mushrooms.

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  • 1Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan. yasujin6@hotmail.com


The enormous number of spores produced by fruiting bodies during cultivation of mushrooms can lead to allergic reactions of workers, reduction of commercial value, spread of mushroom disease, pollution of facilities, and depletion of genetic diversity in natural populations. A cultivar harboring a sporulation-deficient (sporeless) mutation would be very useful for preventing these problems, but sporeless commercial cultivars are very limited in usefulness because sporeless traits are often linked with traits that are unfavorable for commercial cultivation. Thus, identifying a causal gene of a sporeless phenotype not linked to the adverse traits in breeding and cultivation is crucial for the establishment of sporeless breeding using a strategy employing targeting induced local lesions in genomes (TILLING) in cultivated mushrooms. We used a Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fr.) Quél. sporeless strain to identify and characterize the single recessive gene controlling the mutation. The 3,853-bp stpp1 gene encodes a protein of 854 amino acids and belongs to the MutS homolog (MSH) family associated with mismatch repair in DNA synthesis or recombination in meiosis. Gene expression analysis of the fruiting body showed that this gene is strongly expressed in the gills. Phenotypic analysis of disruptants formed by gene targeting suggested a reproducible sporeless phenotype. Mutants deficient in a functional copy of this gene have no unfavorable traits for sporeless cultivar breeding, so this gene will be an extremely useful target for efficient and versatile sporeless breeding in P. pulmonarius and various other cultivated mushrooms.

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