The mating-type region is a specialized region in the genomes of some yeast and other fungi, usually organized into heterochromatin and possessing unique histone methylation patterns. The genes in this region regulate the mating type of the organism and therefore determine key events in its life cycle, such as whether it will reproduce sexually or asexually. In fission yeast such as S. pombe, the formation and maintenance of the heterochromatin organization is regulated by RNA-induced transcriptional silencing, a form of RNA interference responsible for genomic maintenance in many organisms. Mating type regions have also been well studied in budding yeast S. cerevisiae and in the fungus Neurospora crassa.
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