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Fungal Genet Biol. 2012 Jul;49(7):533-43. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 May 22.

Sex-specific gene expression during asexual development of Neurospora crassa.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, 165 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The impact of loci that determine sexual identity upon the asexual, dominant stage of fungal life history has been well studied. To investigate their impact, expression differences between strains of different mating type during asexual development were assayed, with RNA sampled from otherwise largely isogenic mat A and mat a strains of Neurospora crassa at early, middle, and late clonal stages of development. We observed significant differences in overall gene expression between mating types across clonal development, especially at late development stages. The expression levels of mating-type genes and pheromone genes were assayed by reverse transcription and quantitative PCR, revealing expression of pheromone and receptor genes in strains of both mating types in all development stages, and revealing that mating type (mat) genes were increasingly expressed over the course of asexual development. Interestingly, among differentially expressed genes, the mat A genotype more frequently exhibited a higher expression level than mat a, and demonstrated greater transcriptional regulatory dynamism. Significant up-regulation of expression was observed for many late light-responsive genes at late asexual development stages. Further investigation of the impact of light and the roles of light response genes in asexual development of both mating types are warranted.

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