Two morphologically distinctive slow growing strains of Neurospora crassa have been isolated and studied. These, abn-1 and abn-2, differ from wild type in that their growth rates are greatly reduced and often irregular, aerial hyphae are absent, conidia are extremely rare, and no protoperithecia are formed. Growth was not improved by addition of any nutrients tested, oxygen consumption was similar to that of wild type, and cytochrome c appeared abnormally high, and b low or absent. Both abn strains gave rise only to normal progeny in crosses with normal strains. The abn characteristics appear in heterocaryons, and have been transmitted to other genetic strains by means of heterocaryosis followed by plating of conidia. Conidia formed by such heterocaryons typically showed low viability, and gave rise to cultures with great variability in growth rate, morphology, and survival. Even apparently normal derived cultures often later became abnormal or died. It is concluded that the abnormal characteristics are determined primarily by cytoplasmic factors. This conclusion was strengthened by the transmission of the typical characteristics to normal strains by microinjection of cytoplasm from abn cultures, even without demonstrable transfer of nuclei. This constitutes the first time microinjection techniques have been successfully applied to the analysis of a cytoplasmic character in Neurospora.

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