Ascus dysgenesis in hybrid crosses of Neurospora and Sordaria (Sordariaceae)
- Durgadas P. Kasbekar
- Journal of Genetics
In Neurospora crassa, genes lacking a pairing partner during meiosis are suppressed by a process known as meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD). To identify novel MSUD components, we have developed a high-throughput reverse-genetic screen for use with the N. crassa knockout library. Here we describe the screening method and the characterization of a gene (sad-3) subsequently discovered. SAD-3 is a putative helicase required for MSUD and sexual spore production. It exists in a complex with other known MSUD proteins in the perinuclear region, a center for meiotic silencing activity. Orthologs of SAD-3 include Schizosaccharomyces pombe Hrr1, a helicase required for RNAi-induced heterochromatin formation. Both SAD-3 and Hrr1 interact with an RNA-directed RNA polymerase and an Argonaute, suggesting that certain aspects of silencing complex formation may be conserved between the two fungal species.