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Mol Biol Cell. 1995 Jan;6(1):87-95.

The iso1 gene of Chlamydomonas is involved in sex determination.

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Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899, USA.


Sexual differentiation in the heterothallic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is controlled by two mating-type loci, mt+ and mt-, which behave as a pair of alleles but contain different DNA sequences. A mutation in the mt minus-linked imp11 gene has been shown previously to convert a minus gamete into a pseudo-plus gamete that expresses all the plus gametic traits except the few encoded by the mt+ locus. Here we describe the iso1 mutation which is unlinked to the mt- locus but is expressed only in minus gametes (sex-limited expression). A population of minus gametes carrying the iso1 mutation behaves as a mixture of minus and pseudo-plus gametes: the gametes isoagglutinate but they do not fuse to form zygotes. Further analysis reveals that individual gametes express either plus or minus traits: a given cell displays one type of agglutinin (flagellar glycoprotein used for sexual adhesion) and one type of mating structure. The iso1 mutation identifies a gene unlinked to the mating-type locus that is involved in sex determination and the repression of plus-specific genes.

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