Molecular analysis of the Coprinus cinereus mating type A factor demonstrates an unexpectedly complex structure

G. May, L. Le Chevanton, P. J. Pukkila

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We report here the molecular cloning of the A43 mating type factor from Coprinus cinereus, a basidiomycetous fungus. Our molecular analyses revealed an unexpected source of variation in the A factor. Though genetic studies have demonstrated that A has two subunits, α and β, we located three nonoverlapping fragments in the A43 region that have A factor function following DNA-mediated transformation. The three fragments demonstrate no similarity to one another as judged by restriction enzyme maps and by hybridization on Southern blots. We conclude that the A43 factor is composed of at least three subunits. When strains carrying different A factors are examined by hybridization to the cloned subunits, extensive polymorphism is seen. Both intensity of hybridization and restriction fragment lengths vary between strains. Some strains fail to show any hybridization to a probe. In contrast, other strains from widely separated geographic locations apparently share very similar subunits. From comparative restriction enzyme mapping of A43 and a mutated A43 factor, we inferred that a 12-kb deletion in the A factor was responsible for the constitutive, dominant phenotype of the mutated A factor. The results of transformation experiments support an activator model for the activity of the A factor in regulating the A pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

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