The cell wall is the structure that provides the shape to fungal cells and protects them from the difference in osmotic pressure existing between the cytosol and the external medium. Accordingly, changes in structure and composition of the fungal wall must occur during cell differentiation, including the dimorphic transition of fungi. We analyzed, by use of microarrays, the transcriptional regulation of the 639 genes identified to be involved in cell wall synthesis and structure plus the secretome of the Basidiomycota species Ustilago maydis during its dimorphic transition induced by a change in pH. Of these, 189 were differentially expressed during the process, and using as control two monomorphic mutants, one yeast like and the other mycelium constitutive, 66 genes specific of dimorphism were identified. Most of these genes were up-regulated in the mycelial phase. These included CHS genes, genes involved in β-1,6-glucan synthesis, N-glycosylation, and proteins containing a residue of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, and a number of genes from the secretome. The possible significance of these data on cell wall plasticity is discussed.
© 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.