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Fungal Genet Biol. 2003 Dec;40(3):242-51.

Role of the Mf1-1 pheromone precursor gene of the filamentous ascomycete Cryphonectria parasitica.

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Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, 95616-5270, Davis, CA, USA.


Site-directed recombination was used to obtain a Cryphonectria parasitica strain carrying deletions at the Mf1-1 gene locus. Macroscopic features such as growth rate and conidia production were unaffected by Mf1-1 deletions, but, when a strain containing a complete deletion of Mf1-1 was used as spermatia it was male sterile. The same strain was fully competent as a female parent. Deletion of three of the seven putative pheromone peptide repeats within the gene had no effect on mating. Male fertility of the complete deletion strain was restored when an ectopic copy of the Mf1-1 gene was returned by transformation. Expression of the mating type specific pheromone precursor gene Mf1-1 was stimulated by growth in nutritionally poor liquid media. It was found that age and source of inoculum of liquid cultures influences pheromone precusor gene expression, i.e., conidia did not express Mf1-1 and cultures derived from conidia were significantly delayed in expression of this gene, as were cultures derived from young mycelium. Cultures inoculated with older hyphae, however, expressed Mf1-1 within 1 day after inoculation.

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