hyp loci control cell pattern formation in the vegetative mycelium of Aspergillus nidulans

Genetics. 1998 Feb;148(2):669-80.


Aspergillus nidulans grows by apical extension of multinucleate cells called hyphae that are subdivided by the insertion of crosswalls called septa. Apical cells vary in length and number of nuclei, whereas subapical cells are typically 40 microm long with three to four nuclei. Apical cells have active mitotic cycles, whereas subapical cells are arrested for growth and mitosis until branch formation reinitiates tip growth and nuclear divisions. This multicellular growth pattern requires coordination between localized growth, nuclear division, and septation. We searched a temperature-sensitive mutant collection for strains with conditional defects in growth patterning and identified six mutants (designated hyp for hypercellular). The identified hyp mutations are nonlethal, recessive defects in five unlinked genes (hypA-hypE). Phenotypic analyses showed that these hyp mutants have aberrant patterns of septation and show defects in polarity establishment and tip growth, but they have normal nuclear division cycles and can complete the asexual growth cycle at restrictive temperature. Temperature shift analysis revealed that hypD and hypE play general roles in hyphal morphogenesis, since inactivation of these genes resulted in a general widening of apical and subapical cells. Interestingly, loss of hypA or hypB function lead to a cessation of apical cell growth but activated isotropic growth and mitosis in subapical cells. The inferred functions of hypA and hypB suggest a mechanism for coordinating apical growth, subapical cell arrest, and mitosis in A. nidulans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus nidulans / cytology
  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics
  • Aspergillus nidulans / growth & development*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Size
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitosis / genetics*
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Temperature