The natural history of recombination systems



The control of recombination is one of the most important parameters which determine the genetic composition, and hence the evolutionary potentialities, of any population. A good deal is now known about the mechanisms which bring about recombination in fungi, viz. heterokaryosis, parasexuality and the various mating systems, particularly the incompatibility systems. In 1942 Mather showed clearly that heterothaUism can be regarded as a control system for outbreeding in fungi. He, Whitehouse (1949) and Lewis (1954) have all demonstrated the potential degree of outbreeding which can result from the operation of various mating systems. Many other investigators, including Kniep, Vandendries, Buller and most of today’s speakers, have investigated, and are still investigating, the physiology and genetics of such systems. I am concerned, however, to try to describe how these systems actually operate in natural populations. When considering this question, it is not only necessary to know about the nature of the underlaying mechanisms but also the size of the breeding population, the numbers of mating-type factors and their distribution in space and time.


Mating System Aspergillus Nidulans Recombination System Nuclear Migration Mating Ability 
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