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Trends Genet. 2006 Oct;22(10):521-5. Epub 2006 Sep 5.

Aspergillus genomes: secret sex and the secrets of sex.

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Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, UMR 8621 CNRS, Université Paris-Sud (XI) and Institut Universitaire de France, Bâtiment 409, Centre d'Orsay, 91405, Orsay Cedex, France.

Erratum in

  • Trends Genet. 2007 Jan;23(1):25.


The genomic sequences of three species of Aspergillus, including the model organism A. nidulans (which is homothallic: having no differentiated mating types, a strain being able to cross with itself), suggest that A. fumigatus and A. oryzae, considered to be asexual, might in fact be heterothallic (having two differentiated mating types, a strain being able to cross only with strains of opposite mating type). The genomic data have implications for the understanding of the evolution and the mechanism of sexual reproduction in this genus. We propose a model of epigenetic heterothallism to account for the reproductive patterns observed in Aspergillus nidulans.

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