Recombination and variation at the A mating-type of Coprinus cinereus

G. May, E. Matzke

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31 Scopus citations


The molecular basis of variability at the Coprinus cinereus A mating-type was investigated. The A mating-type controls sexual compatibility in this basidiomycete fungus and, like the S loci of many plants, displays quite high levels of variation in natural populations. The A mating-type is a complex locus made up of a number of genes arranged in gene pairs. We determined the role of recombination in generating diversity by using Southern blotting techniques to map 16 different A mating-types from locations around the world. Three variable regions in A segregate ill natural populations and are in linkage equilibrium despite their close physical proximity. Recombination separating the two members of a gent pair was not observed, and these remain in linkage disequilibrium. Variation in A can be accounted for by recombination of highly variable blocks of DNA-containing gene pairs. The A mating-type provides an exceptional system for understanding the molecular evolution of variation in self-recognition genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-802
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • Coprinus cinereus
  • frequency- dependent selection
  • fungal mating-types
  • linkage disequilibrium
  • recombination
  • self- incompatibility
  • variation


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