Aspects of Fungal Genetics

Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


The study of fungal genetics has made a number of significant contributions to our knowledge of genetic processes. The early idea of the connection between genes and enzymes was based on nutritional mutants of Neurospora, and rapid progress in bacterial genetics occurred when this approach and selective techniques were extended to Escherichia coli. One major advantage which some fungi have over bacteria is the occurrence of meiosis in a closed sac, the ascus in the ascomycetes. This allows the genetic effects of a single meiotic event to be studied in detail. There is nothing comparable in bacteria and very often selective techniques are necessary even to detect bacterial recombination. In addition, fusion of nuclei followed by meiosis does not occur in the bacteria. The result of this has been that fungal genetics has made a significant contribution to basic ideas on mechanisms of recombination. In general bacteria are easier to handle for biochemical analysis, and therefore the biochemical basis of recombination is better understood in bacteria than in fungi. This chapter will examine some of the important experiments on recombination in fungi and will include details of the parasexual cycle which occurs in a variety of filamentous fungi.


Linkage Group Fruiting Body Gene Conversion Aspergillus Nidulans Fungal Genetics 
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© Blackie & Son Ltd 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonUK

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