Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self-fertility In Fungi: The Secrets Of 'DIY Reproduction'

Date:
August 17, 2007
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
New light has been shed on a fascinating phenomenon of the natural world -- the ability of some species to reproduce sexually without a partner. When sex occurs the fungus activates its internal sexual machinery and in essence 'mates with itself' to produce new offspring, rather than bypassing the sexual act.

Research from The University of Nottingham sheds new light on a fascinating phenomenon of the natural world — the ability of some species to reproduce sexually without a partner.

Scientists have been trying to determine how individuals of a key fungus, Aspergillus nidulans, are able to have sex without the need for a partner.

In new findings published in the journal Current Biology on August 2, they reveal that the fungus has evolved to incorporate the two different sexes into the same individual.

This means that when sex occurs the fungus activates its internal sexual machinery and in essence 'mates with itself' to produce new offspring, rather than bypassing the sexual act.

This is a significant discovery as it helps scientists to understand how fungi reproduce in general. Fungi can cause health problems in humans and other serious animal and plant diseases, but are also useful as sources of pharmaceuticals and food products.

The long-term aim of the research is to be able to manipulate fungal sex to our own advantage, to prevent disease and help produce better strains for use in the food and biotech industries.

Dr Paul Dyer, of the School of Biology, was lead author of the study. He said: “When we think of sex in the animal world we normally associate it with males and females attracting each other and then coming together for the sexual act.”

“But things are different in the fungal and plant kingdoms, where a lot of species are 'self fertile'. This means that they are able to have sex to produce spores and seeds without the need for a compatible partner. Our findings show that Aspergillus nidulans provides a true example of 'DIY sex'.”

Self-fertilisation is thought to have developed in some plant and fungal species as a response to a scarcity of compatible mating partners. It also allows species to maintain a combination of genes — called a genotype — that is well adapted to surviving in a certain environment.

Aspergillus nidulans is often used as a model organism for scientists studying a wide range of subjects including basic genetic problems that are also applicable to humans, including recombination, DNA repair and cell metabolism.

The work was supported by a grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and also involved researchers at Northern Illinois University and CNRS in France.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Self-fertility In Fungi: The Secrets Of 'DIY Reproduction'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816102519.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2007, August 17). Self-fertility In Fungi: The Secrets Of 'DIY Reproduction'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816102519.htm
University of Nottingham. "Self-fertility In Fungi: The Secrets Of 'DIY Reproduction'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816102519.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins