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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320782

Title: Mating and Progeny Isolation in The Corn Smut Fungus Ustilago maydis

item NADEL, MARINA - University Of Georgia
item TAKACH, JOHNNA - University Of Georgia
item ANDREWS, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item Gold, Scott

Submitted to: Microbiological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2016
Publication Date: 4/20/2016
Citation: Nadel, M., Takach, J.E., Andrews, D.L., Gold, S.E. 2016. Mating and Progeny Isolation in The Corn Smut Fungus Ustilago maydis. Microbiological Research. 6(8)

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript provides a protocol for the step-by-step generation of sexual progeny for genetic analysis of the model plant pathogen Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of corn smut disease.

Technical Abstract: The corn smut pathogen, Ustilago maydis (U. maydis) (DC.) Corda, is a semi-obligate plant pathogenic fungus in the phylum Basidiomycota (Alexopoulos, Mims and Blackwell, 1996). The fungus can be easily cultured in its haploid yeast phase on common laboratory media. However, to complete its sexual cycle U. maydis strictly requires its specific plant host, maize (Zea mays). The fungus is an interesting and important model organism for the study of the interactions of fungal biotrophic pathogens with plants. In this protocol we describe the process of plant inoculation, teliospore recovery, germination, progeny isolation and initial mating type analysis. The primary purpose of this protocol is to identify individual progeny strains of U. maydis that can be used for downstream genetic analyses. Generation of targeted mutants to study various processes is a common approach with this and many plant pathogenic fungi. The ability to generate combinations of mutations is facilitated by sexual crossing without the need for additional selectable markers.