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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Sep;45(5):1355-64.

Repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) in Magnaporthe grisea: implications for its sexual cycle in the natural field context.

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1
Labvoratory of Plant Pathology, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodaicho, Nada, 657-8501 Kobe, Japan.

Abstract

Repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) is a process that detects DNA duplications and peppers their sequences with C:G to T:A transitions in the sexual phase of the life cycle. So far, this unique mechanism has been identified as a currently active process in only two fungal species, Neurospora crassa and Podospora anserina. To determine whether a RIP-like process operates in the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea, the retrotransposon MAGGY and the hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene were introduced into the fungus as multiple transgenes and examined for sequence alterations after a cross. Frequent C:G to T:A transitions in the transgenes were found in the descendants, preferentially in (A/Tp)Cp(A/T)contexts, suggesting that a process similar to RIP functions in M.grisea. We also examined the sequence of another retrotransposon Pyret in six field isolates of M. grisea. Even though no perfect stage has been known in M. grisea under field conditions to date, RIP-like transitions were found in all the field isolates tested. Interestingly, the frequency of the transitions mostly correlated with the fertility of the isolates examined under laboratory conditions. These results imply that the sexual cycle of this fungus exists or existed in the natural field context.

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