Alfons J. M. Debets

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Whether evolution is erratic due to random historical details, or is repeatedly directed along similar paths by certain constraints, remains unclear. Epistasis (i.e. non-additive interaction between mutations that affect fitness) is a mechanism that can contribute to both scenarios. Epistasis can constrain the type and order of selected mutations, but it(More)
The diversity of filamentous fungi that can grow at high ambient pH values (i.e., 8–11) remains largely understudied. Here we study 100 alkalitolerant and alkaliphilic isolates from the soils around the basin of soda lakes in Asia and Africa to assess the major evolutionary lineages and morphologies pertinent to the alkaliphilic trait in filamentous fungi.(More)
Understanding the prevalence of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes is a hard problem. At least two aspects still defy a fully satisfactory explanation, the functional significance of genetic recombination and the great variation among taxa in the relative lengths of the haploid and diploid phases in the sexual cycle. We have performed an experimental study(More)
It is unclear how mutualistic relationships can be stable when partners disperse freely and have the possibility of forming associations with many alternative genotypes. Theory predicts that high symbiont relatedness should resolve this problem, but the mechanisms to enforce this have rarely been studied. We show that African fungus-growing termites(More)
We expect that sexual selection may play an important role in the evolution of mushroom-forming basidiomycete fungi. Although these fungi do not have separate sexes, they do play female and male roles: the acceptance and the donation of a nucleus, respectively. The primary mycelium (monokaryon) of basidiomycete fungi, growing from a germinating sexual(More)
In the fungus Podospora anserina, the [Het-s] prion induces programmed cell death by activating the HET-S pore-forming protein. The HET-s β-solenoid prion fold serves as a template for converting the HET-S prion-forming domain into the same fold. This conversion, in turn, activates the HET-S pore-forming domain. The gene immediately adjacent to het-S(More)
With uniparental inheritance of mitochondria, there seems little reason for homologous recombination in mitochondria, but the machinery for mitochondrial recombination is quite well-conserved in many eukaryote species. In fungi and yeasts heteroplasmons may be formed when strains fuse and transfer of organelles takes place, making it possible to study(More)
Calorie restriction (CR) is a regimen of reduced food intake that, although the underlying mechanism is unknown, in many organisms leads to life span extension. Podospora anserina is one of the few known ageing filamentous fungi and the ageing process and concomitant degeneration of mitochondria have been well-studied. CR in P. anserina increases not only(More)
In multicellular organisms, there is a potential risk that cheating mutants gain access to the germline. Development from a single-celled zygote resets relatedness among cells to its maximum value each generation, which should accomplish segregation of cheating mutants from non-cheaters and thereby protect multicellular cooperation. Here we provide the(More)
Although most fungi appear to be immortal, some show systemic senescence within a distinct time frame. Podospora anserina for example shows an irreversible growth arrest within weeks of culturing associated with a destabilization of the mitochondrial genome. Here, we show that calorie restriction (CR), a regimen of under-nutrition without malnutrition,(More)
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