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Bioessays. 2002 May;24(5):449-59.

Molecular genetics of sexual development in the mushroom Coprinus cinereus.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Okayama University, 700-8530, Japan.


Sexual development in the mushroom Coprinus cinereus is under the control of two mating type loci, A and B. When two haploid homokaryons with compatible alleles at both A and B loci are mated, the coordinated activities of A- and B-regulated pathways lead to formation of a mycelium termed the dikaryon, in which the two nuclei from the mating partners pair in each cell without fusing. The dikaryon is a prolonged mycelial stage that can be induced to develop a multicellular structure, the mushroom, under proper environmental conditions. The two nuclei fuse in specialized cells on the mushroom and immediately undergo meiosis to complete the sexual life cycle. It has been established recently that the A genes encode two classes of homeodomain proteins while the B genes encode pheromones and their receptors. More recently, molecular genetics has been used to reveal genes that work downstream of the mating type genes to regulate dikaryon formation, mushroom morphogenesis, and meiosis.

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