The a mating type locus of U. maydis specifies cell signaling components

Cell. 1992 Feb 7;68(3):441-50. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90182-c.


The a mating type locus of the phytopathogenic fungus U. maydis controls fusion of haploid cells and filamentous growth of the dikaryotic mycelium. The a locus exists in two alleles, termed a1 and a2, which are defined by nonhomologous DNA regions comprising 4.5 kb for a1 and 8 kb for a2, flanked by identical sequences. Based on functional assays, mutants, and sequencing, we demonstrate that the mating type in each allele is determined by a set of two genes. One encodes a precursor for a lipopeptide mating factor, and the other specifies the receptor for the pheromone secreted by cells of opposite mating type. Thus, U. maydis employs a novel strategy to determine its mating type by providing the primary determinants of cell-cell recognition directly from the mating type locus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics*
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pheromones / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Ustilago / genetics*


  • Pheromones
  • Receptors, Cell Surface

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M84157
  • GENBANK/M84158
  • GENBANK/M84159
  • GENBANK/M84160
  • GENBANK/S72766
  • GENBANK/S72767
  • GENBANK/S72768
  • GENBANK/S72769
  • GENBANK/S72771
  • GENBANK/X63098