Fungal fidelity: nuclear divorce from a dikaryon by mating or monokaryon regeneration

B.P.S. Nieuwenhuis, A.J.M. Debets, D.K. Aanen

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Basidiomycete fungi perform fertilizations by incorporation of nuclei into a monokaryotic mycelium to establish a dikaryon. The dikaryon cannot incorporate another type of nucleus, but can still act as a nucleus donor in a dikaryon–monokaryon (di–mon) mating, known as the Buller phenomenon. Previously, it has been observed that: (1) in a particular di–mon mating, one of the nuclear types of the dikaryon generally performs better as a donor than the other, and (2) when nuclei from a dikaryon are separated to form monokaryons again (dedikaryotisation), recovery of monokaryons of the two nuclear types is usually unequal. In this study, we investigated if these two observations of asymmetry are functionally related. We tested this hypothesis by performing both di–mon matings and dedikaryotisation of dikaryons derived from five different monokaryons. When a single mechanism controls both processes, the nucleus better at fertilizing a monokaryon in a Buller pairing should also be recovered upon dedikaryotisation with a higher frequency. The results showed a hierarchical structure for recovery among nuclei in dedikaryotisation, but this hierarchy did not correspond to the fertilization success during di–mon mating. These findings thus show that the mechanism causing asymmetric regeneration of nuclei, is most likely not the same as the mechanism responsible for increased chance of fertilization in di–mon matings. We discuss the complexity of the interactions that occur during di–mon matings with regards to the mating type loci
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • basidiomycete schizophyllum-commune
  • heterobasidion-annosum
  • homokaryotic matings
  • coprinus-cinereus
  • filamentous fungi
  • buller phenomenon
  • genomic conflict
  • pholiota-nameko
  • evolution
  • heterokaryons


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