, Volume 26, Issue 5-6, pp 486-493

Characterization of genome plasticity in Ustilago hordei

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Southern-blot hybridization analysis was used to identify and quantify chromosome-length polymorphisms for ten linkage groups of 14 races of Ustilago hordei. The bands identified by the probes were shown to vary as much as hundreds of kilobase pairs, but the magnitude of the variability was typically 5–15% of the average size of all bands to which a particular probe hybridized. A filamentous morphology mutant, recovered following heatshock treatment of a strain with the greatest number of chromosome bands, was shown to have suffered a 50-kb deletion in a 940-kb chromosome. The mutation to filamentous morphology, designated fil1-1, and the deletion, were shown to invariably cosegregate 2:2 with the wildtype (sporidial) morphology in an ordered tetrad. Genetic and physical analyses place the Fill locus and the deletion near the terminus of one arm of the 940-kb chromosome. These results suggest that deletions of this type may be one of the causes of chromosome-length polymorphisms observed in field isolates of U. hordei.

Communicated by O. C. Yoder