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Protoplasma. 2003;222(3-4):211-5. Epub 2003 Oct 29.

Apical growth and mitosis are independent processes in Aspergillus nidulans.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside, USA.


It is well established that cytoplasmic microtubules are depolymerized during nuclear division and reassembled as mitotic microtubules. Mounting evidence showing that cytoplasmic microtubules were also involved in apical growth of fungal hyphae posed the question of whether apical growth became disrupted during nuclear division. We conducted simultaneous observations of mitosis (fluorescence microscopy) and apical growth (phase-contrast microscopy) in single hyphae of Aspergillus nidulans to determine if the key parameters of apical growth (elongation rate and Spitzenkörper behavior) were affected during mitosis. To visualize nuclei during mitosis, we used a strain of A. nidulans, SRS27, in which nuclei are labeled with the green-fluorescent protein. To reveal the Spitzenkörper and measure growth with utmost precision, we used computer-enhanced videomicroscopy. Our analysis showed that there is no disruption of apical growth during mitosis. There was no decrease in the rate of hyphal elongation or any alteration in Spitzenkörper presence before, during, or after mitosis. Our findings suggest that apical growth and mitosis do not compete for internal cellular resources. Presumably, the population of cytoplasmic microtubules involved in apical growth operates independently of that involved in mitosis.

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