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Curr Genet. 1997 Sep;32(3):209-17.

Heterokaryon incompatibility blocks virus transfer among natural isolates of black Aspergilli.

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Department of Genetics, Agricultural University Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The extent of heterokaryon (also termed somatic or vegetative) incompatibility among black Aspergillus strains was examined using nitrate non-utilising mutants selected on chlorate medium. Pairings of complementary mutants showed that somatic compatibility between different strains is exceptional in natural populations of the asexual black Aspergilli. Mycoviruses are present in a considerable fraction of the sampled natural population, but surprisingly, horizontal transfer of mycoviruses only occurs-at least under laboratory conditions-between the (very rare) compatible combinations of strains. Thus, unlike other fungal species, somatic incompatibility in black Aspergilli efficiently blocks virus transfer. Viruses present in black Aspergillus isolates are highly efficiently transmitted to asexual progeny.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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