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Cloning and analysis of the mating type genes from Cochliobolus heterostrophus

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Cochliobolus heterostrophus, a heterothallic Ascomycete, has a single mating type locus with two alternate forms called MAT-1 and MAT-2. MAT-1 was cloned by complementing a MAT-2 strain using a cosmid library from a MAT-1 strain and screening for a homothallic transformant. The cosmid recovered from this transformant was able to re-transform a MAT-2 strain to homothallism and MAT identity was proven by restriction fragment length polymorphism and conventional genetic mapping. All homothallic transformants could mate with either MAT-1 or MAT-2 strains, although the number of ascospores produced by self matings or crosses to MAT-2 strains was low. Progeny of selfed homothallic transformants were themselves homothallic. MAT-2 was cloned by probing a cosmid library from a MAT-2 strain with a fragment of insert DNA from the MAT-1 cosmid. A 1.5 kb subclone of either MAT-containing cosmid was sufficient to confer mating function in transformants. Examination of the DNA sequence of these subclones revealed that MAT-1 and MAT-2 contain 1297 by and 1171 bp, respectively, of completely dissimilar DNA flanked by DNA common to both mating types. Putative introns were found (one in each MAT gene) which, when spliced out, would yield open reading frames (ORFs) that occupied approximately 90% of the dissimilar DNA sequences. Translation of the MAT-1 ORF revealed similarity to the Neurospora crassa MATA, Podospora anserina mat−, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae MATα1 proteins; translation of the MAT-2 ORF revealed similarity to the N. crassa MATa, P. anserina mat+, and Schizosaccharomyces pombe mat-Mc proteins. These gene products are all proven or proposed DNA binding proteins. Those with similarity to MAT-2 are members of the high mobility group.

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Correspondence to B. Gillian Turgeon.

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The first three authors contributed equally to the work

Communicated by C.A.M.J.J. van den Hondel

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Gillian Turgeon, B., Bohlmann, H., Ciuffetti, L.M. et al. Cloning and analysis of the mating type genes from Cochliobolus heterostrophus . Molec. Gen. Genet. 238, 270–284 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00279556

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Key words

  • Heterothallic
  • Idiomorph
  • DNA binding
  • Transcriptional regulator
  • High mobility group