Evolution of fungal sexual reproduction

Mycologia. Jan-Feb 2013;105(1):1-27. doi: 10.3852/12-253. Epub 2012 Oct 25.


We review here recent advances in our understanding of the genetic, molecular and genomic basis of sex determination and sexual reproduction in the fungal kingdom as a window on the evolution of sex in eukaryotes more generally. In particular, we focus on the evolution of the mating-type locus and transitions in modes of sexual reproduction using examples from throughout the kingdom. These examples illustrate general principles of the origins of mating-type loci/sex chromosomes and the balance between inbreeding and outcrossing afforded by different modes of sexual reproduction involving tetrapolar, bipolar and unipolar sexual cycles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / physiology*
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
  • Phylogeny
  • Reproduction