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BMC Microbiol. 2005 Nov 3;5:64.

The gene for a lectin-like protein is transcriptionally activated during sexual development, but is not essential for fruiting body formation in the filamentous fungus Sordaria macrospora.

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Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine und Molekulare Botanik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany.



The filamentous fungus Sordaria macrospora forms complex three-dimensional fruiting bodies called perithecia that protect the developing ascospores and ensure their proper discharge. In previous microarray analyses, several genes have been identified that are downregulated in sterile mutants compared to the wild type. Among these genes was tap1 (transcript associated with perithecial development), a gene encoding a putative lectin homolog.


Analysis of tap1 transcript levels in the wild type under conditions allowing only vegetative growth compared to conditions that lead to fruiting body development showed that tap1 is not only downregulated in developmental mutants but is also upregulated in the wild type during fruiting body development. We have cloned and sequenced a 3.2 kb fragment of genomic DNA containing the tap1 open reading frame and adjoining sequences. The genomic region comprising tap1 is syntenic to its homologous region in the closely related filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. To determine whether tap1 is involved in fruiting body development in S. macrospora, a knockout construct was generated in which the tap1 open reading frame was replaced by the hygromycin B resistance gene hph under the control of fungal regulatory regions. Transformation of the S. macrospora wild type with this construct resulted in a tap1 deletion strain where tap1 had been replaced by the hph cassette. The knockout strain displayed no phenotypic differences under conditions of vegetative growth and sexual development when compared to the wild type. Double mutants carrying the Deltatap1 allele in several developmental mutant backgrounds were phenotypically similar to the corresponding developmental mutant strains.


The tap1 transcript is strongly upregulated during sexual development in S. macrospora; however, analysis of a tap1 knockout strain shows that tap1 is not essential for fruiting body formation in S. macrospora.

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