An evolutionary comparison of homologous mitochondrial plasmid DNAs from three Neurospora species

John W. Taylor, Beverly D. Smolich, Georgiana May

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We have discovered a mitochondrial DNA plasmid in N. crassa 516 (Roanoke, LA) which is homologous to those previously described from N. intermedia 435 (Fiji) and N. tetrasperma 2510 (Hanalei, HA). Subsequent analysis by DNA-DNA hybridization showed that 6 of 14 other Louisiana N. crassa isolates possessed plasmids homologous to these three plasmids, but at lower copy number. Plasmids from the three named strains were studied to examine possible plasmid diversity within each isolate, the extent of the homology between the plasmids, and the possibility that these plasmids could be inherited separately from their host mitochondria. Comparison of cloned plasmids and covalently closed circular mitochondrial DNA showed that only one plasmid line was present in each of the three intensively studied isolates. DNA-DNA hybridization and restriction endonuclease site mapping showed that the mitochondrial plasmids from the three species were very similar; most of the variation was due to presumed nucleotide substitutions. Plasmids judged identical by our analysis were found in different species. The distribution of the homologous plasmids in nature and the presence of these identical plasmids in different species, suggested that these plasmids could be transmitted between isolates independently of their host mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1985


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