Date of this Version
Genetics 151: 1015–1025 (March 1999)
In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, germination of an asexual conidiospore results in the formation of a hyphal cell. A key feature of spore germination is the switch from isotropic spore expansion to polarized apical growth. Here, temperature-sensitive mutations are used to characterize the roles of five genes (sepA, hypA, podB–podD) in the establishment and maintenance of hyphal polarity. Evidence that suggests that the hypA, podB, and sepA genes are required for multiple aspects of hyphal morphogenesis is presented. Notably, podB and sepA are needed for organization of the cytoskeleton at sites of polarized growth. In contrast, podC and podD encode proteins that appear to be specifically required for the establishment of hyphal polarity during spore germination. The role of sepA and the pod genes in controlling the spatial pattern of polarized morphogenesis in germinating spores is also described. Results obtained from these experiments indicate that the normal pattern of germ-tube emergence is dependent upon the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton.