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Plant Cell. 1991 Aug;3(8):793-799.

Hydrophobin Genes Involved in Formation of Aerial Hyphae and Fruit Bodies in Schizophyllum.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands.


Fungi typically grow by apical extension of hyphae that penetrate moist substrates. After establishing a branched feeding mycelium, the hyphae differentiate and grow away from the substrate into the air where they form various structures such as aerial hyphae and mushrooms. In the basidiomycete species Schizophyllum commune, we previously identified a family of homologous genes that code for small cysteine-rich hydrophobic proteins. We now report that the encoded hydrophobins are excreted in abundance into the culture medium by submerged feeding hyphae but form highly insoluble complexes in the walls of emerging hyphae. The Sc3 gene encodes a hydrophobin present in walls of aerial hyphae. The homologous Sc1 and Sc4 genes, which are regulated by the mating-type genes, encode hydrophobins present in walls of fruit body hyphae. The hydrophobins are probably instrumental in the emergence of these aerial structures.

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