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Microbiology. 2005 Nov;151(Pt 11):3669-78.

Knockdown of LIM15/DMC1 in the mushroom Coprinus cinereus by double-stranded RNA-mediated gene silencing.

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Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba, 278-8510, Japan.


The basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus has many advantages as a model organism for studying sexual development and meiosis, but it has been difficult to investigate using reverse-genetics methods, such as gene disruption by homologous recombination. Here, gene repression by dsRNA-mediated gene silencing was tried as an alternative method for reverse-genetics studies. It was shown that transformation of the LIM15/DMC1 dsRNA expression construct (LIM15dsRNA) resulted in genomic insertion of LIM15dsRNA and paucity of the LIM15/DMC1 transcript. First, LIM15dsRNA was transformed into the homothallic strain AmutBmut to generate a homozygote in which both nuclei had a copy of LIM15dsRNA. The LIM15/DMC1-repressed strain showed abnormal homologous chromosome synapsis during meiosis. Basidiospore production was reduced to 16 % by the induction of dsRNA. However, approximately 60 % of basidiospores were viable. Next, a heterozygote was generated in which one nucleus had a copy of LIM15dsRNA. The phenotype was similar to that of the homozygote. These results are not only the first demonstration of dsRNA-mediated gene silencing in a member of the homobasidiomycete fungi, to which 90 % of mushroom species belong, but also the first successful use of a reverse-genetics approach in C. cinereus research.

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