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Biological Sciences


Dr. Tom Hammond

Mentor Department

Biological Sciences


Neurospora crassa is a fungus that serves as a model organism for genetic research. N. crassa Spore killer-3 (Sk-3) is a genetic element transmitted to offspring through spore killing. Sk-3 is located on Chromosome III and it is thought to require two genes for spore killing. These two genes are the poison gene, for killing, and the antidote gene, for resistance to killing. While the Sk-3 resistance gene has been identified (rsk), the Sk-3 killer gene has not yet been identified. The primary goal of this study is to identify the killer gene by investigating the role of three DNA intervals, referred to as V377, V382, and V383, in spore killing. Previous studies suggest that these intervals are within a region of Chromosome III that is required for spore killing. To determine if these intervals are required for spore killing, DNA deletion vectors were constructed and used to replace intervals V377, V382, and V383 with hygromycin resistance genes in N. crassa Sk-3 strain RDGR170.3. Here, we present the current results of our research. These results will contribute to future studies towards identifying the Sk-3 killer gene.

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