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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Oct;38(2):308-21.

bgs2+, a sporulation-specific glucan synthase homologue is required for proper ascospore wall maturation in fission yeast.

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Instituto de Microbiología Bioquímica, CSIC/Universidad de Salamanca, and Departamento de Microbiología y Genética, Universidad de Salamanca, Edificio Departamental, Room 236, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


The formation of the ascospore cell wall of Schizosaccharomyces pombe requires the co-ordinated activity of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of its components, such as glucans. We have cloned the bgs2+ gene. bgs2+ belongs to the glucan synthase family of S. pombe and is homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae FKS1 and FKS2 genes. Deletion or overexpression of this gene does not lead to any apparent defect during vegetative growth, but homozygous bgs2Delta diploids do show a sporulation defect. Although meiosis takes place normally, ascospores are unable to mature, and their wall differs from that of wild-type ascospores. Moreover, bgs2Delta zygotes were not able to release ascospores spontaneously, and the ascospores were unable to germinate. We show that expression of bgs2+ is restricted to sporulation and that a bgs2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein localizes to the ascospore envelope. The glucan synthase activity in sporulating diploids bearing a bgs2 deletion was diminished in comparison with that of the wild-type diploids, a fact that underscores the importance of the bgs2+ gene and glucan synthesis for the proper formation and maturation of the ascospore wall.

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