Current Genetics

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 5–12 | Cite as

Gene activation by copy transposition in mating-type switching of a homothallic fission yeast

  • Richard Egel
  • Herbert Gutz
Original Articles


Mating-type switching in homothallic clones of the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, appears to follow the same route as previously found for “mutations” from homothallism to heterothallic ⊕ strains. A copy of mat2-P is transposed to and inserted at mat1, where it functionally replaces the mat1-M allele, and only the mat1 segment is expressed (!) to determine the actual mating type: mat1-M(!) mat2-P = ⊖ ⇌ ⊕ = mat1-P(!) mat2-P. This phenomenon has hitherto been concealed by the high switch-back rate from ⊕ to ⊖ observed in homothallic wild-type strains. It only becomes apparent in the presence of mutant “switching genes”, which retard the rates of mating-type interconversion and temporarily freeze one or the other state of gene activation at the mat1 segment. Mutations to lowered rates of switching are found to map both inside and outside the mating-type locus. While the internal mutations of this kind exert their effect autonomously in the cis-configuration, the unlinked mutations are recessive to their wild-type alleles.

Key words

Mating-Type Switching Gene Transposition Homothallism Schizosaccharomyces pombe 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Egel
    • 1
  • Herbert Gutz
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitetets Genetiske InstitutKøbenhavn KDenmark
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl für Genetik der Technischen Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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