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Origin, function, and transmission of accessory chromosomes

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Habig,  Michael       
Max Planck Fellow Group Environmental Genomics (Stukenbrock), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Stukenbrock,  Eva H.       
Max Planck Fellow Group Environmental Genomics (Stukenbrock), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Habig, M., & Stukenbrock, E. H. (2020). Origin, function, and transmission of accessory chromosomes. In J. P. Benz, & K. Schipper (Eds.), Genetics and Biotechnology (3, pp. 25-47). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-49924-2_2.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-4C31-7
Abstract
Fungal genomes are highly diverse and remarkably variable—even within species. Presence/absence polymorphisms of entire chromosomes are frequently found between individuals of a population. The affected chromosomes are considered accessory and therefore not essential for growth. How these accessory chromosomes are maintained in a population is unknown, but it may either be due to a fitness benefit or a transmission advantage during meiosis or mitosis. Although many fungal accessory chromosomes were shown to confer a fitness benefit, e.g., by encoding virulence determinants essential for virulence on specific hosts, new findings demonstrate that also transmission advantages play a role in their maintenance in fungal genomes. Here, we report the current knowledge of the origin and function of fungal accessory chromosomes with a particular focus on their modes of transmission during mitosis and meiosis. We discuss transmission advantages as possible mechanisms for the widespread occurrence of these chromosomes.