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Curr Genet. 1991 Aug;20(3):239-43.

The fate of mitochondrial DNAs of mt+ and mt- origin in gametes and zygotes of Chlamydomonas.

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Département de Botanique (B22), Université de Liège, Belgique.


In order to study the mechanism responsible for the uniparental transmission of the mitochondrial genome in crosses between Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and C. smithii, we have analyzed the fate of mitochondrial DNA during gametogenesis, zygospore differentiation and sporulation by hybridization experiments. Both mt+ and mt- gametes contain the same amount of mitochondrial DNA and the two parental genomes persist for several days in the zygotes. The DNA of mt+ origin is slowly eliminated during the period of zygote maturation. Light is required for total elimination of mt+ mitochondrial DNA in the zygospores. Using appropriate restriction enzymes, we have been unable to detect methylation of the mitochondrial DNA during gametogenesis or zygospore formation. The possibility that the mt+ mitochondria themselves are specifically eliminated in the course of zygote maturation is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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