Podospora anserina

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A filamentous fungus living on dung. Its genome size is 34 mbp distributed among 7 chromosomes. The fungus serves as a model for studies of the role of mitochondria in aging. Podospora mycelia undergo a time-dependent change during their culture. The pigmentation of the hyphae increases, they stop growing, and the apical cells die. During this “aging” process certain parts of the mitochondrial DNA become unstable. A mobile intron detaches from a specific gene, circularizes, and undergoes amplification. The gene involved normally functions to transcribe a subunit of cytochrome c oxidase. Therefore the energy production of the cell is compromized, and it dies. See Classification, Fungi, Ascomycota; cytochromes, gene amplification, petites.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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