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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Mar;63(3):996-1001.

Polymorphic Chromosomes Bearing the Tox2 Locus in Cochliobolus carbonum Behave as Homologs during Meiosis.


The HTS1 gene in the Tox2 locus of the fungal pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum race 1 is required for synthesis of a host-selective phytotoxin and for increased virulence on susceptible genotypes of maize. The locus is present in race 1 isolates but absent from isolates of the other races, which do not produce the toxin. By pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and Southern analysis with HTS1 sequences and chromosome-specific markers, the HTS1 gene was detected on a 4-Mb chromosome in one group of isolates and on a 2.3-Mb chromosome in another group, which lacked the 4-Mb chromosome. A chromosome-specific marker from C. heterostrophus hybridized to a 2.3-Mb chromosome in non-toxin-producing isolates and in toxin-producing isolates, including those with a 4-Mb chromosome. A marker from C. carbonum hybridized to the 4-Mb chromosome, but in isolates lacking the 4-Mb chromosome, this marker hybridized to a smaller, 2.0-Mb chromosome. Thus, the Tox2 locus is on different chromosomes in different groups of race 1 isolates. Single ascospore progeny from crosses between isolates having HTS1 on different chromosomes were analyzed for toxin-producing ability, virulence, and the presence and chromosomal location of HTS1. All progeny produced HC toxin in culture, incited race 1-type lesions on susceptible maize genotypes, and contained HTS1 sequences, as determined by PCR amplification with gene-specific primers. Analysis of the chromosomal complements of several progeny indicated that they all had only one Tox2-containing chromosome. Thus, despite their differences in size, these chromosomes behave as homologs during meiosis and may have arisen by a translocation.


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