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Genes Dev. 1992 Dec;6(12A):2373-81.

Developmental and light regulation of eas, the structural gene for the rodlet protein of Neurospora.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California 94305.


The surface of many fungal spores is covered by a hydrophobic sheath termed the rodlet layer. We have determined that the rodlet protein of Neurospora crassa is encoded by a cloned gene designated bli-7, and that bli-7 is identical to the known gene eas (easily wettable). Using eas DNA as a probe we show that eas mRNA is abundant in illuminated mycelia and conidiophores but is not detectable or is barely detectable in dark-grown mycelia, mature macroconidia, microconidia, and ascospores. Mutations in the genes acon-2, acon-3, and fl block early conidiophore development; of these, only fl prevents normal eas transcription. The EAS protein is homologous to the rodlet protein (RodA) of Aspergillus nidulans, and the hydrophobins of Schizophyllum commune. eas is the first cloned conidiation (con) gene of N. crassa that is associated with a phenotypic alteration.

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