Characterization of chromosome ends in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa

Cheng Wu, Yun Sik Kim, Kristina M. Smith, Weixi Li, Heather M. Hood, Chuck Staben, Eric U. Selker, Matthew S. Sachs, Mark L. Farman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Telomeres and subtelomere regions have vital roles in cellular homeostasis and can facilitate niche adaptation. However, information on telomere/subtelomere structure is still limited to a small number of organisms. Prior to initiation of this project, the Neurospora crassa genome assembly contained only 3 of the 14 telomeres. The missing telomeres were identified through bioinformatic mining of raw sequence data from the genome project and from clones in newcosmid and plasm id libraries. Their chromosomal locations were assigned on the basis of paired-end read information and/or by RFLP mapping. One telomere is attached to the ribosomal repeat array. The remaining chromosome ends have atypical structures in that they lack distinct subtelomere domains or other sequence features that are associated with telomeres in other organisms. Many of the chromosome ends terminate in highly AT-rich sequences that appear to be products of repeat-induced point mutation, although most are not currently repeated sequences. Several chromosome termini in the standard Oak Ridge wild-type strain were compared to their counterparts in an exotic wild type, Mauriceville. This revealed that the sequences immediately adjacent to the telomeres are usually genome specific. Finally, despite the absence of many features typically found in the telomere regions of other organisms, the Neurospora chromosome termini still retain the dynamic nature that is characteristic of chromosome ends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1145
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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