Here, we report that the Neurospora crassa FLB-3 protein, the ortholog of the Aspergillus nidulans FlbC transcription factor, is required for developmental control. Deletion of flb-3 leads to changes in hyphae morphology and affects sexual and asexual development. We identified, as putative FLB-3 targets, the N. crassa aba-1, wet-1 and vos-1 genes, orthologs of the ones involved in A. nidulans asexual development and that work downstream of FlbC (abaA, wetA and vosA). In N. crassa, these three genes require FLB-3 for proper expression; however, they appear not to be required for normal development, as demonstrated by gene expression analyses during vegetative growth and asexual development. Moreover, mutant strains in the three genes conidiate well and produce viable conidia. We also determined FLB-3 DNA-binding preferences via protein-binding microarrays (PBMs) and demonstrated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) that FLB-3 binds the aba-1, wet-1 and vos-1 promoters. Our data support an important role for FLB-3 in N. crassa development and highlight differences between the regulatory pathways controlled by this transcription factor in different fungal species.
Keywords: Development control; FLB-3; Neurospora crassa; Protein-binding microarrays (PBM).
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