Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli

Károly Pál, Anne D. Van Diepeningen, J. Varga, Alfons J M Debets, Rolf F. Hoekstra

Research output: Chapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual reproduction is a general feature in higher eukaryotes, although the genetic machinery to produce sexually derived offspring can be very different. Contrary to the megabase-sized sexual chromosomes of animals, fungal genomes harbour much shorter sequences located at the MAT locus which governs the mating processes. For heterothallic fungi, the two mating-types are characterised by the presence of either of the two idiomorphs of the MAT locus, MAT-1 or MAT-2, while homothallic species may contain both MAT idiomorphs. The black mould Aspergillus niger is known as an asexual species, but some related presumed asexual species have recently been shown to have a cryptic sexual cycle. The scope of this work was to screen for and compare mating and meiosis related genes in the two sequenced A. niger genomes and to compare them to those in related Aspergilli. The MAT-1 mating type gene was found in both sequenced A. niger strains, a MAT-2 homologue was not detected in either, indicating that this species is either heterothallic or truly asexual. In comparison, the sequenced homothallic A. nidulans genome contains both MAT genes on different chromosomes, whereas the A. fumigatus, A. oryzae, and A. terreus genomes contain one MAT gene per sequenced genome. Many of the proteins known from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to be involved in meiosis proved well conserved in all five tested sexual and presumed asexual Aspergillus species. The Aspergilli also proved to have very similar sets of pheromone processing and response pathway proteins. Comparison of the two A. niger genomes for their gene sets show that many of these proteins may have essential pleiotropic functions next to mating and meiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAspergillus in the Genomic Era
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Pages107-131
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9789086860654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Aspergillus niger
Niger
Aspergillus
Fungi
Genome
Meiosis
Genes
Fungal Genome
Chromosomes
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
Pheromones
Eukaryota
animal
Reproduction
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Pál, K., Van Diepeningen, A. D., Varga, J., Debets, A. J. M., & Hoekstra, R. F. (2008). Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli. In Aspergillus in the Genomic Era (pp. 107-131). Wageningen Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-635-9

Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli. / Pál, Károly; Van Diepeningen, Anne D.; Varga, J.; Debets, Alfons J M; Hoekstra, Rolf F.

Aspergillus in the Genomic Era. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2008. p. 107-131.

Research output: Chapter

Pál, K, Van Diepeningen, AD, Varga, J, Debets, AJM & Hoekstra, RF 2008, Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli. in Aspergillus in the Genomic Era. Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 107-131. https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-635-9
Pál K, Van Diepeningen AD, Varga J, Debets AJM, Hoekstra RF. Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli. In Aspergillus in the Genomic Era. Wageningen Academic Publishers. 2008. p. 107-131 https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-635-9
Pál, Károly ; Van Diepeningen, Anne D. ; Varga, J. ; Debets, Alfons J M ; Hoekstra, Rolf F. / Sexual genes in the asexual filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and related Aspergilli. Aspergillus in the Genomic Era. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2008. pp. 107-131
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