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Fungal Genet Biol. 1998 Aug;24(3):364-76.

Characterization and molecular genetic complementation of mutants affecting dimorphism in the fungus ustilago maydis

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 30602, USA.


Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of corn smut disease, displays dimorphic growth in which it alternates between a unicellular, nonpathogenic yeast-like form and a dikaryotic, pathogenic filamentous form. Previously, a constitutively filamentous haploid mutant was obtained. Complementation of this mutant led to the isolation of the gene encoding adenylate cyclase, uac1. Secondary mutagenesis of a uac1 disruption strain allowed the isolation of a large number of suppressor mutants, termed ubc, for Ustilago bypass of cyclase, lacking the filamentous phenotype. Analysis of one of these suppressor mutants previously led to the identification of the ubc1 gene, encoding the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. In this report we describe the isolation of cosmids containing three new ubc genes, termed ubc2, ubc3, and ubc4. We also describe the morphology of the ubc2, ubc3, and ubc4 mutants in a uac1- background as well as in a background with a functional uac1 gene. In addition, we describe several mutant strains not complemented with any of the genes currently in hand and that are thus presumed to possess mutations in additional ubc genes.


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