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Fungal Genet Biol. 2013 Jul;56:42-53. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 May 1.

conF and conJ contribute to conidia germination and stress response in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans.

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Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Genetics, Georg August University, Grisebachstr. 8, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Light induces various responses in fungi including formation of asexual and sexual reproductive structures. The formation of conidia in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans is regulated by red and blue light receptors. Expression of conidia associated con genes, which are widely spread in the fungal kingdom, increases upon exposure to light. We have characterized the light-inducible conF and conJ genes of A. nidulans which are homologs of con-6 and con-10 of Neurospora crassa. con genes are expressed during conidia formation in asexual development. Five minutes light exposure are sufficient to induce conF or conJ expression in vegetative mycelia. Similar to N. crassa there were no significant phenotypes of single con mutations. A double conF and conJ deletion resulted in significantly increased cellular amounts of glycerol or erythritol. This leads to a delayed germination phenotype combined with increased resistance against desiccation. These defects were rescued by complementation of the double mutant strain with either conF or conJ. This suggests that fungal con genes exhibit redundant functions in controlling conidia germination and adjusting cellular levels of substances which protect conidia against dryness.

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