Inheritance of extrachromosomal rDNA in Physarum polycephalum.

Abstract:

:In the acellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum, the several hundred genes coding for rRNA are located on linear extrachromosomal DNA molecules of a discrete size, 60 kilobases. Each molecule contains two genes that are arranged in a palindromic fashion and separated by a central spacer region. We investigated how rDNA is inherited after meiosis. Two Physarum amoebal strains, each with an rDNA recognizable by its restriction endonuclease cleavage pattern, were mated, the resulting diploid plasmodium was induced to sporulate, and haploid progeny clones were isolated from the germinated spores. The type of rDNA in each was analyzed by blotting hybridization, with cloned rDNA sequences used as probes. This analysis showed that rDNA was inherited in an all-or-nothing fashion; that is, progeny clones contained one or the other parental rDNA type, but not both. However, the rDNA did not segregate in a simple Mendelian way; one rDNA type was inherited more frequently than the other. The same rDNA type was also in excess in the diploid plasmodium before meiosis, and the relative proportions of the two rDNAs changed after continued plasmodial growth. The proportion of the two rDNA types in the population of progeny clones reflected the proportion in the parent plasmodium before meoisis. The rDNAs in many of the progeny clones contained specific deletions of some of the inverted repeat sequences at the central palindromic symmetry axis. To explain the pattern of inheritance of Physarum rDNA, we postulate that a single copy of rDNA is inserted into each spore or is selectively replicated after meiosis.

journal_name

Mol Cell Biol

authors

Ferris PJ,Vogt VM,Truitt CL

doi

10.1128/mcb.3.4.635

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1983-04-01 00:00:00

pages

635-42

issue

4

eissn

0270-7306

issn

1098-5549

journal_volume

3

pub_type

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