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Evidence for the sexual origin of heterokaryosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi [Nature Micobiology]

Keywords : evolutionary genetics, fungal evolution, fungal genetics, fungal physiology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Sexual reproduction is ubiquitous among eukaryotes, and fully asexual lineages are extremely rare. Prominent among ancient asexual lineages are the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), a group of plant symbionts with a multinucleate cytoplasm. Genomic divergence among co-existing nuclei was proposed to drive the evolutionary success of AMF in the absence of sex, but this hypothesis has been contradicted by recent genome analyses that failed to find significant genetic diversity within an AMF isolate. Here, we set out to resolve issues surrounding the genome organization and sexual potential of AMF by exploring the genomes of five isolates of Rhizophagus irregularis, a model AMF.(...)

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