Characterization of mating type (MAT) alleles differentiated by a natural inversion in Sclerotinia minor

P. Chitrampalam, Barry M Pryor

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13 Scopus citations


A recent study on fungal mating type genes revealed two MAT alleles within homothallic Sclerotinia sclerotiorum differentiated by an inversion, Inv- (inversion negative) and Inv+ (inversion positive). An analysis of mating type in closely related S. minor was conducted to shed light on the evolution of this MAT inversion. Inv- and Inv+ MAT alleles were identified in S. minor and were characterized. Both MAT alleles in S. minor were flanked by APN2 and SLA2, and consisted of two idiomorphs fused as in other homothallic ascomycetes. However, in the Inv+ MAT, the 3·6 kb MAT region was inverted relative to the Inv- MAT. Except for the inversion, both Inv- and Inv+ MAT in S. minor were equal in size and identical in nucleotide sequence. The MAT inversion in Inv+ S. minor was at exactly the same place as in Inv+ S. sclerotiorum and affected three of four MAT genes: MAT1-1-1 was truncated and MAT1-2-4 and MAT1-2-1 were inverted. Unlike S. sclerotiorum, expression of MAT genes did not differ between Inv- and Inv+ S. minor. The 250 bp inverted repeat motif that flanked the inverted MAT region in S. sclerotiorum and believed responsible for the MAT inversion was also found in S. minor, but was 256 bp. Depending on the MAT genes, 93-96% nucleotide identity was observed between Sclerotinia species. Both Inv+ and Inv- MAT S. minor and S. sclerotiorum isolates were commonly found in lettuce fields of Arizona along with MAT heterokaryons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-920
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • MAT alleles
  • MAT heterokaryon
  • Sclerotinia minor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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