ABSTRACT. Conventional hybridization and selection techniques have aided the development of new ornamental crop cultivars. However, little information is available on the genetic divergence of bromeliad hybrids. In the present study, we investigated the genetic variability in interspecific hybrids of Aechmea gomosepala and A. recurvata var. recurvata using inflorescence characteristics and sequencerelated amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. The morphological analysis showed that the putative hybrids were intermediate between both parental species with respect to inflorescence characteristics. The 16 SRAP primer combinations yield 265 bands, among which 154 (57.72%) were polymorphic. The genetic similarity was an average of 0.59 and ranged from 0.21 to 0.87, indicating moderate genetic divergence among the hybrids. The unweighted pair group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA)-based cluster analysis distinguished the ©FUNPEC-RP www.funpecrp.com.br Genetics and Molecular Research 11 (4): 4169-4178 (2012) F. Zhang et al. 4170 hybrids from their parents with a genetic distance coefficient of 0.54. The cophenetic correlation was 0.93, indicating a good fit between the dendrogram and the original distance matrix. The two-dimensional plot from the principal coordinate analysis showed that the hybrids were intermediately dispersed between both parents, corresponding to the results of the UPGMA cluster and the morphological analysis. These results suggest that SRAP markers could help to identify breeders, characterize F 1 hybrids of bromeliads at an early stage, and expedite genetic improvement of bromeliad cultivars.
Aspergillus cristatus is a homothallic fungus, the genome of which contains two mating-type (MAT) genes, MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1. Previous studies showed that the origin of MAT loci in this species differs from that of other fungi, and their functions have never been described. In this study, MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 were individually deleted by gene replacement, confirming that these genes regulate the sexual development of Aspergillus cristatus, with the two single-deletion mutants showing similar phenotypes. To explain this phenomenon, the evolutionary relationships of the core domains from high-mobility-group box (HMGB) domain, high-mobility-group (HMG) domain, and alpha 1 (α1) domain were investigated, with the findings indicating that α1 domain and HMG domain have a close evolutionary relationship. Transcriptomic analyses indicated that mating-type genes regulate the sexual development of Aspergillus cristatus by controlling the expression levels of pheromone precursor and receptor genes. This paper presents the first systemic investigation of the function of MAT genes from Aspergillus cristatus.
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