Sex Determination in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

Gareth Bloomfield, Jason Skelton, Alasdair Ivens, Yoshimasa Tanaka, Robert R Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The genetics of sex determination remain mysterious in many organisms, including some that are otherwise well studied. Here we report the discovery and analysis of the mating-type locus of the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. Three forms of a single genetic locus specify this species' three mating types: two versions of the locus are entirely different in sequence, and the third resembles a composite of the other two. Single, unrelated genes are sufficient to determine two of the mating types, whereas homologs of both these genes are required in the composite type. The key genes encode polypeptides that possess no recognizable similarity to established protein families. Sex determination in the social amoebae thus appears to use regulators that are unrelated to any others currently known.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1536
Number of pages4
Issue number6010
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Genetic Loci
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Genes, Protozoan
  • Reproduction
  • Peptides
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Dictyostelium
  • Gene Deletion


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