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The genus Closterium, a new model organism to study sexual reproduction in streptophytes

Yuki Tsuchikane, Hiroyuki Sekimoto
new phytologist 2019 v.221 no.1 pp. 99-104
Closterium, algae, ancestry, cell communication, embryophytes, genes, genetic engineering, genomics, heterothallic strains, homothallic strains, homothallism, inheritance (genetics), models, phylogeny, sexual reproduction, zygospores
Contents Summary 99 I. Introduction 99 II. Life cycle of Closterium 100 III. Sexual reproductive processes in the heterothallic Closterium peracerosum‐strigosum‐littorale complex 101 IV. Homothallism in the C. psl. complex 102 V. Sexual reproduction and inheritance of mating types in Closterium ehrenbergii 102 VI. mt‐determining gene of the C. psl. complex 103 VII. Future perspectives 103 Acknowledgements 103 References 103 SUMMARY: Closterium occupies a key phylogenetic position as an ancestor of land plants and is the best‐characterized Charophycean alga in terms of the process of sexual reproduction. Zygospores form as a result of sexual reproduction between genetically determined mating type plus (mt⁺) and mating type minus (mt⁻) cells in heterothallic strains, or between clonal cells in homothallic strains. Here we review knowledge on the intercellular communication and mating type determination for successful sexual reproduction in Closterium. Using genomic information and transgenic techniques, the genus could be a model organism to study the mechanisms and evolution of sexual reproduction in streptophytes.