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Genes Dev. 1990 Sep;4(9):1473-82.

Light is required for conidiation in Aspergillus nidulans.

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Department of Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122.


Light is necessary for asexual sporulation in Aspergillus nidulans but will elicit conidiation only if irradiation occurs during a critical period of development. We show that conidiation is induced by red light and suppressed by an immediate shift to far red light. Conidiation-specific gene functions switch from light-independent to light-dependent activities coincident with the expression of brlA, a regulator of conidiophore development. We also show that light dependence is abolished by a mutation in the velvet gene, which allows conidiation to occur in the absence of light. We propose that the initiation of late gene expression is regulated by velvet and controlled by a red light photoreceptor, whose properties are reminiscent of phytochrome-mediated responses observed in higher plants.

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