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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Oct;66(10):4378-82.

PCR-based identification of MAT-1 and MAT-2 in the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex.

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Tree Pathology Co-Operative Programme, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, Departments of Genetics, Microbiology, and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa.


All sexually fertile strains in the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex are heterothallic, with individual mating types conferred by the broadly conserved ascomycete idiomorphs MAT-1 and MAT-2. We sequenced both alleles from all eight mating populations, developed a multiplex PCR technique to distinguish these idiomorphs, and tested it with representative strains from all eight biological species and 22 additional species or phylogenetic lineages from this species complex. In most cases, either an approximately 800-bp fragment from MAT-2 or an approximately 200-bp fragment from MAT-1 is amplified. The amplified fragments cosegregate with mating type, as defined by sexual cross-fertility, in a cross of Fusarium moniliforme (Fusarium verticillioides). Neither of the primer pairs amplify fragments from Fusarium species such as Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium pseudograminearum, and Fusarium culmorum, which have, or are expected to have, Gibberella sexual stages but are thought to be relatively distant from the species in the G. fujikuroi species complex. Our results suggest that MAT allele sequences are useful indicators of phylogenetic relatedness in these and other Fusarium species.

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