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Mutants of the filamentous fungus Mucor circinelloides altered in the synthesis of beta-carotene (genotype car) have been isolated by direct inspection of the color shown by the colonies derived from mutagenized spores. The mutants were analyzed for the carotenoid content in darkness and light and studied with respect to complementation in heterokaryons made by spheroplast fusion. The results revealed the existence of at least four complementation groups. The carB mutants are white and accumulate phytoene. The carR mutants are red and accumulate lycopene. The carP mutants are most likely disturbed in the synthesis of phytoene: two of them are white and do not accumulate carotenoids; another carP mutant is yellowish, probably because it is leaky. There are three yellowish mutants which belong to one or more complementation groups different from carB, carR, and carP. Two white mutants obtained in a single mutagenization step failed to complement with the carR and the carP mutants. The wild-type and the carB and carR mutants tested for M. circinelloides showed similar photoinduction.

Original publication




Journal article


Fungal Genet Biol

Publication Date





19 - 27


Genetic Complementation Test, Mucor, Mutagenesis, beta Carotene