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Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Feb;41(2):129-39.

Aspergillus fumigatus rasA and rasB regulate the timing and morphology of asexual development.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0529, USA.


Expression of rasA plays an important role in conidial germination in Aspergillus nidulans. Conidial germination is required to initiate both infection and asexual development in the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Therefore, we sought to determine the requirements for Ras proteins in conidial germination and asexual development of A. fumigatus. A second homolog, rasB, has been identified that characterizes a new subclass of Ras genes. Dominant active (DA) and dominant negative (DN) mutations of each gene were introduced into protoplasts as transgenes. DArasA expression led to reduced conidiation, malformed conidiophores, and altered mitotic progression, whereas expression of DNrasA caused a significant reduction in the rate of conidial germination. In contrast, expression of DNrasB slightly delayed the initiation of germination and caused the development of conidiophores in submerged culture. DArasB expression led to reduced conidiation. RasA and RasB appear to play different, but overlapping, roles in the vegetative growth and asexual development of A. fumigatus.

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