SUMMARY: Before fusion, hyphae of the basidiomycete responded similarly to one another when grown on a cellophane membrane, regardless of whether they were genetically the same or different. Long-range (up to 250 μm) curvature (homing) to specific sites in the lateral wall of recipient compartments often occurred in fusions involving main hyphal apices. Induction of tip outgrowth from lateral walls was most evident before short-range, tip-to-tip fusions resulting in H-connections between main hyphae. Spitzenkörper (apical bodies) became aligned with receptive sites before directed growth. A period (about 5–20 min) of expansion of the contact region preceded formation of a fusion pore. Fusions were abundant in the vicinity of septa, but never observed between tips of main hyphae which repelled one another. In fusions involving hyphae from the same thallus or of mating-incompatible homokaryons, the fusion pore usually enlarged until it occupied virtually the entire contact area. Except in the case of clamp-connexions, nuclear interchange was followed by aggregation and division in the pore region before septum formation. Between different heterokaryons, the fusion pore never expanded fully, nuclei were rarely exchanged, and rapid cytoplasmic lysis and vacuolation occurred. Lysis also occurred sooner or later between sexually compatible homokaryons; only in a few cases was dolipore dissolution and nuclear migration observed.


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