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Eukaryot Cell. 2006 Mar;5(3):499-506.

Cross talk between a fungal blue-light perception system and the cyclic AMP signaling pathway.

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  • 1Departamento de Ingeniería Genética, Unidad Irapuato and National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity, Cinvestav Campus Guanajuato, Apartado Postal 629, Irapuato 36500, Mexico.


Blue light regulates many physiological and developmental processes in fungi. In Trichoderma atroviride the complex formed by the BLR-1 and BLR-2 proteins appears to play an essential role as a sensor and transcriptional regulator in photoconidiation. Here we demonstrate that the BLR proteins are necessary for carbon deprivation induced conidiation, even in the absence of light, pointing to the existence of an unprecedented cross talk between light and carbon sensing. Further, in contrast to what has been found in all other fungal systems, clear BLR-independent blue-light responses, including the activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and the regulation of gene expression, were found. Expression of an antisense version of the pkr-1 gene, encoding the regulatory subunit of PKA, resulted in a nonsporulating phenotype, whereas overexpression of the gene produced colonies that conidiate even in the dark. In addition, overexpression of pkr-1 blocked the induction of early light response genes. Thus, our data demonstrate that PKA plays an important role in the regulation of light responses in Trichoderma. Together, these observations suggest that the BLR complex plays a general role in sensing environmental cues that trigger conidiation and that such a role can be separated from its function as a transcription factor.

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