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Fungal Genet Biol. 2010 Mar;47(3):237-45. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2009.12.006. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Characterization of Ctr family genes and the elucidation of their role in the life cycle of Neurospora crassa.

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Department of Biochemistry, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad 500 007, India.


Transcriptional analysis using qRT-PCR of 62 metal ion transporters during conidial germination of Neurospora crassa showed a significant up regulation of a hypothetical copper transporter gene, tcu-1, that belongs to the Ctr family. Herein we characterised the Ctr family genes (tcu-1, tcu-2 and tcu-3) and deciphered their role in various developmental phases of the N. crassa life cycle. Cross complementation assays in copper uptake mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed that tcu-1, tcu-2 and tcu-3 are functional homologs of S. cerevisiae copper transporters. Expression studies of Ctr family members in various developmental phases of N. crassa showed differential expression pattern for high-affinity copper transporter, TCU1. Functional analysis of their gene knockout mutants showed that tcu-1 is essential for saprophytic conidial germination, vegetative growth and perithecia development under copper limited conditions while conidiation remained unaffected.

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