Current Genetics

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 129–137

A new senescence-inducing mitochondrial linear plasmid in field-isolated Neurospora crassa strains from India


  • Deborah A. Court
    • Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Guelph
  • Anthony J. F. Griffiths
    • Department of BotanyUniversity of British Columbia
  • Steven R. Kraus
    • Department of BotanyUniversity of British Columbia
  • Peter J. Russell
    • Department of BiologyReed College
  • Helmut Bertrand
    • Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Guelph
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF00326294

Cite this article as:
Court, D.A., Griffiths, A.J.F., Kraus, S.R. et al. Curr Genet (1991) 19: 129. doi:10.1007/BF00326294


Several field-collected strains of Neurospora crassa from the vicinity or Aarey, Bombay, India, are prone to precocious senescence and death. Analysis of one strain, Aarely-1e, demonstrated that the genetic determinants for the predisposition to senescence are maternally inherited. The senescence-prone strains contain a 7-kb, linear, mitochondrial DNA plasmid, maranhar, which is not present in long-lived isolates from the same geographical location. The maranhar plasmid has inverted terminal repeats with protein covalently bound at the 5′ termini. Molecular hybridization experiments have demonstrated no substantial DNA sequence homology between the plasmid and the normal mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear genomes of long-lived strains of N. crassa. Integrated maranhar sequences were detected in the mtDNAs of two cultures derived from Aarey-1e, and mtDNAs with the insertion sequences accumulated during subculturing. Nucleotide sequence analysis of cloned fragments of the two insertion sequences demonstrates that that they are flanked by long inverted repeats of mtDNA. The senescence syndrome of the maranhar strains, and the mode of integration of the plasmid, are reminiscent of those seen in the kalilo strains of N. intermedia. Nonetheless, there is no detectable nucleotide sequence homology between the maranhar and kalilo plasmids.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991