Characterization of phiA, a gene essential for phialide development in Aspergillus nidulans

Fungal Genet Biol. 2003 Dec;40(3):234-41. doi: 10.1016/s1087-1845(03)00108-7.


We have previously identified genes and proteins involved in the fungal response to the Streptomyces-produced antibiotics, bafilomycin B1 and concanamycin A, known inhibitors of V-ATPases. Using mRNA differential display we identified an Aspergillus nidulans gene with 30-fold up-regulated expression in the presence of bafilomycin. This gene, here denoted phiA, and its gene product, were further characterized by targeted gene disruption and immunohistochemistry. Phenotypically, the phiA mutation resulted in reduced growth and severely reduced sporulation. The abnormality could be traced to the phialides, which divided several times instead of forming a single flask-shaped cell. The importance of phiA for phialide and conidium development was supported by immunohistochemistry experiments that showed the protein to be mainly present in these two cell types. Attempts to relate phiA to inhibition of V-ATPases did not result in unambiguous conclusions, but suggest the possibility that changed expression of phiA is correlated with growth arrest caused by inhibited V-ATPases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genotype
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • phiA protein, Aspergillus nidulans