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Mol Microbiol. 1995 Apr;16(1):33-44.

dewA encodes a fungal hydrophobin component of the Aspergillus spore wall.

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Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


An anonymous cDNA clone, pCAN4, was shown previously to correspond to an mRNA that accumulates preferentially during asexual sporulation of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. The peptide encoded by pCAN4 is a fungal hydrophobin, a group of small, hydrophobic cell wall proteins. When the CAN4 gene was disrupted, conidia and conidiophores appeared to be normal, but sporulating colonies wetted more rapidly with detergent solutions than did the wild type. We renamed CAN4 dewA for the detergent wettable phenotype and mapped it to chromosome V, 24 map units from cysC. The A. nidulans rodA gene also encodes a sporulation-specific fungal hydrophobin. Spores of a dewA- rodA- double mutant were less hydrophobic than those of either mutant alone, showing that dewA and rodA contribute independently to spore-wall hydrophobicity. Immunolocalization of DewA by epitope tagging demonstrated that DewA is present in the spore wall, but not in the walls of germ tubes, hyphae or cells of the spore-producing conidiophore. We conclude that dewA encodes a new fungal hydrophobin component of the conidial wall.

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