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Fungal Genet Biol. 2008 May;45(5):683-92. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Microtubule dynamics and the role of molecular motors in Neurospora crassa.

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School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA.


Live-cell imaging methods were used to study microtubule dynamics in the apical regions of leading hyphae and germ tubes of Neurospora crassa expressing beta-tubulin-GFP. Microtubule polymerization rates in hyphae of N. crassa were much faster than those previously reported in any other eukaryotic organism. In order to address the roles of motor proteins in microtubule dynamic instability in N. crassa, the microtubule-motor mutant strains, Deltankin and ro-1, were examined. Polymerization and depolymerization rates in leading hyphae of these strains were reduced by one half relative to the wild type. Furthermore, microtubules in germ tubes of wild type and microtubule-motor mutants exhibited similar dynamic characteristics as those in hyphae of mutant strains. Small microtubule fragments exhibiting anterograde and retrograde motility were present in leading hyphae of all strains and germ tubes of wild-type strains. Our data suggest that microtubule motors play important roles in regulating microtubule dynamic instability in leading hyphae but not in germ tubes.

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