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Chromosoma. 1995 Nov;104(3):189-202.

Chromosome dynamics in rad12 mutants of Coprinus cinereus.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


We have characterized the phenotypes of three rad12 mutants of the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus, which were isolated on the basis of sensitivity to ionizing radiation. Electron microscopic studies of meiotic nuclear spreads showed that all three rad12 mutants are defective in chromosomal synapsis. For rad12-1 and rad12-4, very limited assembly of the synaptonemal complex occurs. The phenotype of rad12-15 is less severe and longer stretches of synapsed chromosomes are formed. However, for all three alleles mutant nuclei arrest in a diffuse state with little synaptonemal complex structure. Observations made of spreads of acridine orange-stained meiotic nuclei correlated with the electron microscopic data. In rad12 strains, chromosomes condense but do not pair, and they later arrest in a decondensed state; very few rad12 cells enter metaphase I. Homozygous dikaryons of rad12 mutants produce fruiting bodies with significantly fewer basidiospores than are found in wild-type dikaryons. The viability of these spores is greatly reduced: all spores produced by rad12-1 and rad12-4 mushrooms fail to germinate, while only 16% of rad12-15 spores are viable. Recombination within the tract of the ribosomal RNA gene repeats was not significantly different in the mutants when compared with a wild-type congenic control. Quantitative measurements of oidial survival indicate that all three rad12 alleles are sensitive to gamma radiation but insensitive to UV radiation relative to wild-type strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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