Interallelie crosses of mutants at the grey (g) spore colour locus in Sordaria fimicola, heterozygous for flanking markers, give rise to a large number of aberrant ascus genotypes, 45 of which can arise through relatively simple events and have been chosen for study. These genotypes comprise 50–75% of the aberrant asci, depending on the mutants crossed.
Comparison of the results from 10 pairwise crosses involving 7 alleles reveals that linked postmeiotic segregation and co-conversion decrease rapidly in frequency with increasing separation of the mutant sites.
The data from reciprocally recombinant asci, from asci with normal segregation at one of the two mutant sites, and from flanking marker behaviour in one- and two-point crosses, agree with the Holliday-Sobell formulation, with the following additional features:
(1) The nuclease, which nicks homologous polynucleotides and then degrades one of the two nicked chains when a mutant enters the hybrid DNA structure, can show preferential degradation of the mutant (or the wild-type) chain. In addition, a second nuclease is involved in the excision-repair process that introduces an additional preferential (marker specific) bias in the degradation of the mutant (or the wild-type) chain. This could explain why asci with odd-ratio conversion (5:3 and 3:5 ratios) sometimes show a different bias, as first reported by Emerson for Ascobolus, from those with even-ratio conversion (6:2 and 2:6 ratios), since the latter but not the former require, in addition, the action of a mismatch correction enzyme to account for them.
(2) The migratory hybrid DNA structure which enters the gene at one end may be of a different size from that which enters from the other end.
(3) Mismatch correction at the end of the hybrid DNA structure leads to a non-recombinant outside marker genotype and modifies the 1:1 ratio of parental:recombinant flanking markers that is otherwise found.