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Characterization of the molecular basis of the Moniliophthora perniciosa mating types leading to primary homothalism

Grant number: 11/23577-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães Pereira
Grantee:Ludimila Dias Almeida
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Stage specific transition between the monokaryotic and dikaryotic phases of the mushroom life-cycle is governed by the genetics of the mating-type system. In these fungi, the mating-type loci are organized into a tetrapolar genetic structure that ensures that only fungi that differ in the two mating-type locus A and B can successfully undergo sexual diazotization (mating). The evolution of this mechanism provides basidiomycetes with a genetic barrier to inbreeding and maximizes genetic diversity within strains. In response to this process, thousands of mating alleles can be found in any natural population of a typical heterothallic basidiomycete. Although Moniliophthora perniciosa presents a typical basidiomycete life cycle and morphology, it is the first example of a primary homothallic mushroom bearing a tetrapolar mating-type structure. In other phytopathogenic fungi such as Ustilago maydis, mating-type genes and phase switches have important roles in phytopathogenic, however, the heterothallism was maintained during the evolution of this species. Therefore, understanding the molecular basis of homothallic in M. perniciosa has the potential to reveal not only how the mating-type structure behaves in order to maintain sexual development but also to provide cues on how this system was related to the evolution of phytopathogenic in this species.(AU)

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