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Some Genetic Techniques for Gibberella zeae. John F. Leslie, Research microbiologist, Cellular Biology Section, Corporate Research and Development, International Minerals and Chemical Corporation, P.O. Box 207, Terre Haute, IN 47808; Phytopathology 73:1005-1008. Accepted for publication 26 January 1983. Copyright 1983 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-73-1005.

Gibberella zeae, an important plant pathogen, is exploited commercially in the production of zearalenone, a fungal sex hormone. Genetically, G. zeae is relatively intractable. A variety of mutants induced by ultraviolet irradiation were recovered by using a high-sorbose, filtration-enrichment technique. These mutants included: adenine-, arginine-, and histidine auxotrophs; a non-nutritional, heat-sensitive mutant; and an NADPH-dependent, glutamate dehydrogenase-deficient mutant. Protoplasts were liberated by hyphal digestion with commercially available β-glucuronidase and chitinase. Protoplast fusion, mediated by polyethylene glycol 4000, produced stable heterokaryotic colonies under proper selective conditions. Development of these mutants and techniques lays the groundwork for studying the genetics of G. zeae.

Additional keywords: auxotrophic mutants, Fusarium roseum 'Graminearum,' protoplast fusion.