Conclusions

Isozyme analysis is an extremely powerful and versatile technique that can answer many questions about fungal genetics, taxonomy, and population biology. Compared to alternative technologies, isozymes are cheap, fast, and easy to interpret. They only assay expressed genes and, by analysis of dimeric enzymes, can distinguish heterozygous individuals from physical mixtures of cultures—an advantage that is not shared by DNA-based markers. With newer types of electrophoresis systems, isozymes are suitable for analysis of small tissue samples and could be portable to remote locations. The main disadvantage of isozyme analysis is a lower level of polymorphism compared to DNA-based markers, but this usually can be overcome by increasing the number of enzyme systems assayed. The many advantages of isozyme analysis should ensure its place in the molecular toolbox for many years to come.

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