The evolution of sex chromosomes and mating loci in organisms with UV systems of sex/mating type determination in haploid phases via genes on UV chromosomes is not well understood. We report the structure of the mating type (MT) locus and its evolutionary history in the green seaweed Ulva partita, which is a multicellular organism with an isomorphic haploid-diploid life cycle and mating type determination in the haploid phase. Comprehensive comparison of a total of 12.0 and 16.6 Gb of genomic next-generation sequencing data for mt- and mt+ strains identified highly rearranged MT loci of 1.0 and 1.5 Mb in size and containing 46 and 67 genes, respectively, including 23 gametologs. Molecular evolutionary analyses suggested that the MT loci diverged over a prolonged period in the individual mating types after their establishment in an ancestor. A gene encoding an RWP-RK domain-containing protein was found in the mt- MT locus but was not an ortholog of the chlorophycean mating type determination gene MID. Taken together, our results suggest that the genomic structure and its evolutionary history in the U. partita MT locus are similar to those on other UV chromosomes and that the MT locus genes are quite different from those of Chlorophyceae.
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