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The Phycomyces blakesleeanus wild-type is yellow, because it accumulates beta-carotene as the main carotenoid. A new carotenoid mutant of this fungus (A486) was isolated, after treatment with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS), showing a whitish coloration. It accumulates large amounts of phytoene, small quantities of phytofluene, zeta-carotene and neurosporene, in decreasing amounts, and traces of beta-carotene. This phenotype indicates that it carries a leaky mutation affecting the enzyme phytoene dehydrogenase (EC 1.3.-.-), which is specified by the gene carB. Biochemical analysis of heterokaryons showed that mutant A486 complements two previously characterized carB mutants, C5 (carB10) and S442 (carB401). Sequence analysis of the carB gene genomic copy from these three strains revealed that they are all altered in the gene carB, giving information about the nature of the mutation in each carB mutant allele. The interallelic complementation provides evidence for the multimeric organization of the P. blakesleeanus phytoene dehydrogenase.


Journal article


Eur J Biochem

Publication Date





902 - 908


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Cloning, Molecular, Ethyl Methanesulfonate, Fungi, Genetic Complementation Test, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Oxidoreductases