Parasitella parasitica, (synonyms: P. simplex, Mucor parasiticus), is a biotrophic fusion parasite with a broad host range among zygomycetes. Infection by Parasitella parasitica is accompanied by efficient gene transfer to its hosts. Thus, Parasitella parasitica represents a turntable of genetic information in zygomycetous soil communities and may be regarded as motor of metagenome evolution. With respect to the intrinsic difficulties of sexual recombination in all zygomycetes, the parasexual system is presently the easiest and most efficient tool for genetic manipulation of many biotechnically important zygomycetous fungi, including the genera Absidia and Thamnidium, employed for steroid hydroxylation, and Blakeslea trispora, industrially exploited for large scale production of beta-carotene.
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