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Genetics. 1998 Mar;148(3):1069-79.

Characterization of mat A-2, mat A-3 and deltamatA mating-type mutants of Neurospora crassa.

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Department of Botany, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The mating-type locus of Neurospora crassa regulates mating identity and entry into the sexual cycle. The mat A idiomorph encodes three genes, mat A-1, mat A-2, and mat A-3. Mutations in mat A-1 result in strains that have lost mating identity and vegetative incompatibility with mat a strains. A strain containing mutations in both mat A-2 and mat A-3 is able to mate, but forms few ascospores. In this study, we describe the isolation and characterization of a mutant deleted for mat (deltamatA), as well as mutants in either mat A-2 or mat A-3. The deltamatA strain is morphologically wild type during vegetative growth, but it is sterile and heterokaryon compatible with both mat A and mat a strains. The mat A-2 and mat A-3 mutants are also normal during vegetative growth, mate as a mat A strain, and produce abundant biparental asci in crosses with mat a, and are thus indistinguishable from a wild-type mat A strain. These data and the fact that the mat A-2 mat A-3 double mutant makes few asci with ascospores indicate that MAT A-2 and MAT A-3 are redundant and may function in the same pathway. Analysis of the expression of two genes (sdv-1 and sdv-4) in the various mat mutants suggests that the mat A polypeptides function in concert to regulate the expression of some sexual development genes.

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