Conidium differentiation in Aspergillus nidulans wild-type and wet-white (wetA) mutant strains

Dev Biol. 1990 Apr;138(2):499-508. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(90)90215-5.


Conidium (asexual spore) differentiation in wild-type and the wet-white (wetA) mutant of Aspergillus nidulans was compared in intact chains of successively older conidia. Carbohydrate cytochemistry helped define three stages (Stages I, II, and III) of wild-type conidium maturation on the basis of changes in the ultrastructure and composition of the conidium wall. Conidia of the wetA6 mutant strain formed normally but failed to mature during Stages II and III. Specifically, the inner wall layer of wetA6 conidia did not condense during Stage II and two wall layers that stained for carbohydrates did not form during the transition to Stage III. Concomitantly, wetA6 conidia formed large cytoplasmic vacuoles and underwent lysis. The wetA gene appears to have a conidium-specific function for the modification of the conidium wall during Stages II and III. These modifications of the conidium wall are essential for the stability of mature, dormant conidia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics
  • Aspergillus nidulans / growth & development*
  • Aspergillus nidulans / ultrastructure
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mutation*
  • Organelles / ultrastructure