Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Stephen Horton




fungi, mushroom, mycology, split gill, genes


The life cycle of S. commune consists of both haploid and dikaryotic phases. In normal circumstances, only the dikaryotic phase is able to produce fruiting bodies or mushrooms. Previous research in other related fungi suggests that a cAMP signaling pathway is likely to be involved in the sexual development of fruiting bodies in S. commune. The present study examines the role of a member of the cAMP signaling pathway in the sexual development of this fungus. Specifically, we are studying the role of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A on the formation of mushrooms by performing a gene knockout in S. commune. Currently, we are in the process of constructing the necessary recombinant DNA molecules necessary for use in DNA-mediated transformation experiments. The phenotypic differences between the “knocked out” or null mutant strains generated and the wild type progenitors will be compared in order to gain insight into the role this protein plays in the life cycle of the organism. We have hypothesized that an S. commune null mutant for the gene encoding a catalytic subunit of protein kinase A will likely cause an increase in mushroom production and/or perturbations in the normal development of these reproductive structures.