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Fungal Genet Biol. 2004 Jun;41(6):635-46.

Differential expression of the chitin synthase genes of Aspergillus nidulans, chsA, chsB, and chsC, in response to developmental status and environmental factors.

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Department of Microbiology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea.


To understand the role of the chitin synthase genes of Aspergillus nidulans, we analyzed the expression of chsA, chsB, and chsC both by Northern blotting and by a vital reporter system with sgfp encoding a modified version of green fluorescent protein, sGFP. chsA was expressed specifically during asexual differentiation, but not during either vegetative growth or sexual differentiation. The expression of chsB was ubiquitous throughout the fungal body and relatively independent of the change in developmental status of the cells. chsC was expressed moderately during sexual development as well as during the early phase of vegetative growth, but was expressed weakly in old vegetative mycelia and in asexual structures. Furthermore its expression was spatially differentiated, i.e., relatively strong in young cleistothecia and in mature ascospores, but negligible in Hülle cells. Osmostress caused by high concentrations (up to 1.2M) of KCl or NaCl stimulated the expression of chsA and chsC, but not that of chsB. Sodium acetate, especially at high concentration (3%), strongly enhanced the expression of all the three genes. Neither heat shock nor the sugar carbon sources tested (glucose, sucrose, or lactose) affected the expression of any of the three chitin synthase genes.

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