Evidence for mitochondrial gene control of mating types in Phytophthora

Yu-Huan Gu; Wen-Hsiung Ko
November 2005
Canadian Journal of Microbiology;Nov2005, Vol. 51 Issue 11, p934
Academic Journal
When protoplasts carrying metalaxyl-resistant (Mr) nuclei from the A1 isolate of Phytophthora parasitica were fused with protoplasts carrying chloroneb-resistant (Cnr) nuclei from the A2 isolate of the same species, fusion products carrying Mr nuclei were either the A2 or A1A2 type, while those carrying Cnr nuclei were the A1, A2, or A1A2 type. Fusion products carrying Mr and Cnr nuclei also behaved as the A1, A2, or A1A2 type. The result refutes the hypothesis that mating types in Phytophthora are controlled by nuclear genes. When nuclei from the A1 isolate of P. parasitica were fused with protoplasts from the A2 isolate of the same species and vice versa, all of the nuclear hybrids expressed the mating type characteristics of the protoplast parent. The same was true when the nuclei from the A1 isolate of P. parasitica were fused with the protoplasts from the A0 isolate of Phytophthora capsici and vice versa. These results confirm the observation that mating type genes are not located in the nuclei and suggest the presence of mating type genes in the cytoplasms of the recipient protoplasts. When mitochondria from the A1 isolate of P. parasitica were fused with protoplasts from the A2 isolate of the same species, the mating type of three out of five regenerated protoplasts was changed to the A1 type. The result demonstrated the decisive effect of mitochondrial donor sexuality on mating type characteristics of mitochondrial hybrids and suggested the presence of mating type genes in mitochondria. All of the mitochondrial hybrids resulting from the transfer of mitochondria from the A0 isolate of P. capsici into protoplasts from the A1 isolate of P. parasitica were all of the A0 type. The result supports the hypothesis of the presence of mating type genes in mitochondria in Phytophthora.


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