Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Heterokaryotic transmission is one of the major techniques for the study of cytoplasmic inheritance and here we have applied it to the senescence-determining plasmids kalilo (Hawaiian) and maranhar (Indian). We have shown that kalilo-based senescence is effectively transmitted by cytoplasmic contact, both in N. crassa and in N. intermedia. In the first place, the heterokaryons themselves are senescent, confirming the suppressivity of the senescence phenotype in mixtures of normal and senescent cytoplasms. Second, senescence is found in new nuclear associations, as shown by analysis of conidial isolates and meiocytes stemming from the heterokaryons. In addition, the free plasmid AR-kalDNA, and its form that is inserted into mtDNA, (mtIS-kalDNA), are both transmitted to new nuclear associations. In a transient fusion between senescent N. intermedia and nonsenescent N. crassa cells, AR-kalDNA was transmitted to N. crassa and mtIS-kalDNA was transmitted to N. crassa mtDNA. A cryptic mitochondrial plasmid, not associated with senescence, was also transmitted very efficiently to N. crassa mitochondria. In mixed kalilo/maranhar fusions, both plasmids coexisted, approximately equally, in the heterokaryons themselves, and in conidial isolates. However, in sexual derivatives, AR-marDNA was in an excess and AR-kalDNA was sometimes absent. The efficient heterokaryotic transmission of these elements suggests that this is one of their natural modes of spread in populations.
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