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Intramolecular recombination and deletions in mitochondrial DNA of senescent, a nuclear-gene mutant of Neurospora crassa exhibiting "death" phenotype

D'Souza, Anthony D and Bertrand, Helmut and Maheshwari, Ramesh (2005) Intramolecular recombination and deletions in mitochondrial DNA of senescent, a nuclear-gene mutant of Neurospora crassa exhibiting "death" phenotype. In: Fungal Genetics and Biology, 42 (2). pp. 178-190.

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In Neurospora crassa, a nuclear-gene mutant, senescent, derived from a phenotypically normal wild isolate of Neurospora intermedia exhibits a 'death' phenotype. Regardless of the composition of the culture medium, the mycelium ceases to grow in 2-6 subcultures at $26 ^\circ C$ and 1 or 2 subcultures at $34 ^\circ C$. Senescence of vegetative mycelium is associated with deficiencies in cytochromes aa3 and b and reduced oxygen uptake. The restriction fragment analysis of mitochondrial DNA from senescing mycelia showed deletions and gross sequence rearrangements. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA of $(sen + sen^+)$ heterokaryons constructed with "excess" sen cytoplasm suggested correlation between mtDNA deletions and senescence. Three novel sen-specific EcoRI fragments of sizes 3.6, 3.9, and 4.4 kb were cloned, sequenced, and analyzed. Nucleotide sequences of the sen-specific EcoRI fragments suggested that deletions were a consequence of intramolecular recombination between EcoRI-5 and -10 and/or between EcoRI-8 and -10. The recombination junctions were close to stretches of GC-rich-PstI palindromic sequences that potentially form stable hairpin structures and might facilitate recombination between homologous repeats as short as 6-10 bp. These observations suggest that the wild-type $(sen^+)$ allele encodes a factor that protects the mitochondrial genome from undergoing intramolecular recombination and deletions. In this respect $sen^+$ (linkage group V) has a function similar to $nd^+$ (linkage group I) and the two gene products probably have mutually exclusive roles in suppressing cruciform-associated and homologous recombination, respectively, thus safeguarding mitochondrial genome integrity. The $sen^+$ allele most likely codes for a factor involved in recombination, repair or replication of the mitochondrial genome, or a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes affiliated with mitochondrial DNA metabolism.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Fungal Genetics and Biology
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: The Copyright belongs to Elsevier.
Keywords: Senescence;Neurospora;senescent;Nuclear gene;mtDNA;Recombination;Deletions
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:24
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/5685

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