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Same-Sex Mating Discovered in a Toxic Fungus

ibed mating strategy might allow a single mating strain to expand rapidly by cell division, yet retain its ability to generate diversity by undergoing sex, said Heitman. That diversity might provide an advantage when faced with new environmental challenges, he said.

While the findings have no immediately obvious clinical implications, Heitman said, "the more we know about the biological cause of any disease, the better positioned we are to develop cost-effective diagnostic or therapeutic interventions."

The fungal strategy may also contribute to scientists' general understanding of the conditions that favor evolutionary transitions between self-fertilization and sexual reproduction among unrelated individuals, known to occur in the fungal, plant and even animal kingdoms, the researchers said.

Christina Hull, now at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, also contributed to the research. The work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.


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Source:DukeMedNews


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