UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Spring 2016

Document Type



Harris. S. and Holaday. S. Analysis of Morphology and Secretion Mutants in Aspergillus nidulans. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2016.Research Fair, Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2016.


Copyright (c) 2016 Shelby N. Holaday & Steven D. Harris


Filamentous fungi are important economically and medically due to their capacity to produce secondary metabolites or as human and animal pathogens. The genes and molecular mechanism responsible for secretion is poorly understood. Using classical genetics, we derived temperature sensitive (Ts) fungal mutants in Aspergillis nidulans. These mutants were then analyzed for their secondary metabolite secretion capacity.

In this study, we used the Ts strains of A. nidulans to determine how knockouts affect morphological and protein secretion by examining the phenotypes under the microscope and also by staining the mutants with Congo red staining. Mutants were stained with Congo red to determine enzyme activity, which was then used to select mutants with the highest enzymatic activity to be used in the study.

Our objective was to identify the mutants responsible for the morphological and protein secretion defects by identifying numerous mutants with previously unknown roles in hyphal morphogenesis and secretion and performing a screen to determine hyper-secretors.