Influence of activated A and B mating-type pathways on developmental processes in the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus
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The A and B mating type pathways in Coprinus cinereus monokaryons can be activated by transformation with cloned genes from strains of compatible mating types. The presence of heterologous A mating-type genes (Aon) induces production of submerged chlamydospores, hyphal knots and sclerotia in cultures kept in the dark. Upon illumination of transformants of certain strains (218), fruiting body primordia may develop that arrest before karyogamy. Furthermore, formation of aerial spores (oidia) is repressed by the action of A mating type genes in the dark, but light overrides this repression. Heterologous B mating type genes enhance the effects of the A genes on developmental processes, and partially repress the negative action of light on A-mediated regulation of development. Most notably, A-induced fruiting occurs more efficiently and earlier when the B mating type pathway is also active (Bon). However, activation of the B pathway alone is not sufficient to induce fruiting. Unlike A-activated transformants, A+B-activated transformants of monokaryon 218 form mature fruiting bodies. Therefore, the B genes control fruiting body maturation at the stage of karyogamy. Basidia within the fruiting bodies that were analysed contained four spores in a typical post-meiotic arrangement. In the absence of an activated A mating type pathway, B mating type genes cause deformation and hyperbranching of vegetative hyphae, a reduction in aerial mycelium, and invasion of the agar substrate – a phenotype resembling the "flat" phenotype known from B-activated Schizophyllum commune strains. B-activated transformants usually show enhanced production of chlamydospores and hyphal knots, but maturation of sclerotia is variably efficient. Activation of the B mating type pathway in monokaryons blocked acceptance of nuclei, but not activation of the A mating type pathway.
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