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Current perspectives on mitochondrial inheritance in fungi

Authors Xu J, Li H

Received 23 April 2015

Accepted for publication 19 June 2015

Published 4 August 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 143—154

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CHC.S59508

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Denis Wirtz


Jianping Xu,1,2 He Li2

1Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; 2The Key Laboratory for Non-Wood Forest Cultivation and Conservation of the Federal Ministry of Education, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: The mitochondrion is an essential organelle of eukaryotes, generating the universal energy currency, adenosine triphosphate, through oxidative phosphorylation. However, aside from generation of adenosine triphosphate, mitochondria have also been found to impact a diversity of cellular functions and organ system health in humans and other eukaryotes. Thus, inheriting and maintaining functional mitochondria are essential for cell health. Due to the relative ease of conducting genetic and molecular biological experiments using fungi, they (especially the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae) have been used as model organisms for investigating the patterns of inheritance and intracellular dynamics of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, the diversity of mitochondrial inheritance patterns in fungi has contributed to our broad understanding of the genetic, cellular, and molecular controls of mitochondrial inheritance and their evolutionary implications. In this review, we briefly summarize the patterns of mitochondrial inheritance in fungi, describe the genes and processes involved in controlling uniparental mitochondrial DNA inheritance in sexual crosses in basidiomycete yeasts, and provide an overview of the molecular and cellular processes governing mitochondrial inheritance during asexual budding in S. cerevisiae. Together, these studies reveal that complex regulatory networks and molecular processes are involved in ensuring the transmission of healthy mitochondria to the progeny.

Keywords: uniparental inheritance, biparental inheritance, mating type, actin cable, mitochore, mitochondrial partition
 

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