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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Aug;8(4):370-7.

Homologues of yeast polarity genes control the development of multinucleated hyphae in Ashbya gossypii.

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Applied Microbiology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstr. 50-70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


A few years ago, A. gossypii became recognized as an attractive model to study the growth of long and multinucleated fungal cells (hyphae) because of its small genome, haploid nuclei, and efficient gene targeting methods. It is generally assumed that a better understanding of filamentous fungal growth will greatly stimulate the development of novel fungicides. The use of Ashbya gossypii as a model is particularly promising because of the high level of gene order conservation (synteny) between the genomes of A. gossypii and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Thus, a similar set of genes seems to control the surprisingly different growth modes of these two organisms, which predicts that orthologous growth control genes might not play identical cellular roles in both systems. Analyzing the phenotypes of A. gossypii mutants lacking factors with known functions in yeast morphogenesis and nuclear dynamics confirm this hypothesis. Comparative genomics of both organisms also reveals rare examples of differences in the gene sets for some cellular processes, which as shown for phosphate homeostasis can be associated with differences in control levels.

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