Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Feb;16(2):918-26. Epub 2004 Nov 17.

The role of microtubules in rapid hyphal tip growth of Aspergillus nidulans.

Author information

Department of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans grows by polarized extension of hyphal tips. The actin cytoskeleton is essential for polarized growth, but the role of microtubules has been controversial. To define the role of microtubules in tip growth, we used time-lapse microscopy to measure tip growth rates in germlings of A. nidulans and in multinucleate hyphal tip cells, and we used a green fluorescent protein-alpha-tubulin fusion to observe the effects of the antimicrotubule agent benomyl. Hyphal tip cells grew approximately 5 times faster than binucleate germlings. In germlings, cytoplasmic microtubules disassembled completely in mitosis. In hyphal tip cells, however, microtubules disassembled through most of the cytoplasm in mitosis but persisted in a region near the hyphal tip. The growth rate of hyphal tip cells did not change significantly in mitosis. Benomyl caused rapid disassembly of microtubules in tip cells and a 10x reduction in growth rate. When benomyl was washed out, microtubules assembled quickly and rapid tip growth resumed. These results demonstrate that although microtubules are not strictly required for polarized growth, they are rate-limiting for the growth of hyphal tip cells. These data also reveal that A. nidulans exhibits a remarkable spatial regulation of microtubule disassembly within hyphal tip cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center