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Sex determination in the first-described sexual fungus.

ABSTRACT: The original report of sex in fungi dates 2 centuries ago to the species Syzygites megalocarpus (Mucoromycotina). The organism was subsequently used in 1904 to represent self-fertile homothallic species when the concepts of heterothallism and homothallism were developed for the fungal kingdom. In this study, two putative sex/MAT loci were identified in individual strains of S. megalocarpus, accounting for its homothallic behavior. The strains encode both of the high-mobility-group domain-containing proteins, SexM and SexP, flanked by RNA helicase and glutathione oxidoreductase genes that are found adjacent to the mating-type loci in other Mucoromycotina species. The presence of pseudogenes and the arrangement of genes suggest that the origin of homothallism in this species is from a heterothallic relative, obtained via a chromosomal rearrangement to switch two alleles into two separated loci within a single genetic background. Similar events have given rise to homothallic species from heterothallic species in ascomycete fungi, demonstrating that conserved forces shape the evolution of sex determination and speciation in highly diverged fungi.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3209044 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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