Analysis of Repeat Induced Point (RIP) mutations in Leptosphaeria maculans indicates variability in the RIP process between fungal species Academic Article uri icon


  • Gene duplication contributes to evolutionary potential, yet many duplications in a genome arise from the activity of "selfish" genetic elements such as transposable elements. Fungi have a number of mechanisms by which they limit the expansion of transposons, including Repeat Induced Point mutation (RIP). RIP has been best characterized in the Sordariomycete Neurospora crassa, wherein duplicated DNA regions are recognized after cell fusion, but before nuclear fusion during the sexual cycle, and then mutated. While "signatures" of RIP appear in the genome sequences of many fungi, the species most distant from N. crassa in which the process has been experimentally demonstrated to occur is the Dothideomycete Leptosphaeria maculans In the current study, we show that similar to N. crassa, nonlinked duplications can trigger RIP; however, the frequency of the generated RIP mutations is extremely low in L maculans (< 0.1%) and requires a large duplication to initiate RIP, and that multiple premeiotic mitoses are involved in the RIP process. However, a single sexual cycle leads to the generation of progeny with unique haplotypes, despite progeny pairs being generated from mitosis. We hypothesize that these different haplotypes may be the result of the deamination process occurring post karyogamy, leading to unique mutations within each of the progeny pairs. These findings indicate that the RIP process, while common to many fungi, differs between fungi and that this impacts on the fate of duplicated DNA.

publication date

  • 2019