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Fungal Genet Biol. 2000 Jun;30(1):45-62.

Plasma membrane-adjacent actin filaments, but not microtubules, are essential for both polarization and hyphal tip morphogenesis in Saprolegnia ferax and Neurospora crassa.

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Biology Department, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The organization and roles of F-actin and microtubules in the maintenance and initiation of hyphal tip growth have been analyzed in Saprolegnia ferax and Neurospora crassa. In hyphae of both species, the apex is depleted of microtubules relative to subapical regions and near-normal morphogenesis occurs in concentrations of nocodazole or MBC which remove microtubules, slow growth, and disrupt nuclear positioning. In contrast, each species contains characteristic tip-high arrays of plasma membrane-adjacent F-actin, whose organization is largely unaltered by the loss of microtubules but disruption of which by latrunculin B disrupts tip morphology. Hyphal initiation and subsequent normal morphogenesis from protoplasts of both species and spores of S. ferax are independent of microtubules, but at least in S. ferax obligatorily involve the formation of F-actin caps adjacent to the hyphal tip plasma membrane. These observations indicate an obligatory role for F-actin in hyphal polarization and tip morphogenesis and only an indirect role for microtubules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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