Plant-adapted green fluorescent protein is a versatile vital reporter for gene expression, protein localization and mitosis in the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus nidulans

Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jan;27(1):121-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1998.00664.x.


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a useful reporter to follow the in vivo behaviour of proteins, but the wild-type gfp gene does not function in many organisms, including many plants and filamentous fungi. We show that codon-modified forms of gfp, produced for use in plants, function effectively in Aspergillus nidulans both as gene expression reporters and as vital reporters for protein location. To demonstrate the use of these modified gfps as reporter genes we have used fluorescence to follow ethanol-induced GFP expression from the alcA promoter. Translational fusions with the modified gfp were used to follow protein location in living cells; plant ER-retention signals targeted GFP to the endoplasmic reticulum, whereas fusion to the GAL4 DNA-binding domain targeted it to the nucleus. Nuclear-targeted GFP allowed real-time observation of nuclear movement and division. These modified gfp genes should provide useful markers to follow gene expression, organelle behaviour and protein trafficking in real time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus nidulans / cytology
  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics
  • Aspergillus nidulans / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / chemistry
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / physiology
  • Fluorometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis*
  • Luminescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / analysis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins