The Neurospora rca-1 gene complements an Aspergillus flbD sporulation mutant but has no identifiable role in Neurospora sporulation.
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The Aspergillus nidulans flbD gene encodes a protein with a Myb-like DNA-binding domain that is proposed to act in concert with other developmental regulators to control initiation of conidiophore development. We have identified a Neurospora crassa gene called rca-1 (regulator of conidiation in Aspergillus) based on its sequence similarity to flbD. We found that N. crassa rca-1 can complement the conidiation defect of an A. nidulans flbD mutant and that induced expression of rca-1 caused conidiation in submerged A. nidulans cultures just as was previously observed for overexpression of flbD. Thus, the N. crassa gene appears to be a functional homologue of A. nidulans flbD and this is the first demonstration of functional complementation of an A. nidulans sporulation defect using a gene from an evolutionarily distant fungus. However, deletion of the rca-1 gene in N. crassa had no major effect on growth rate, macroconidiation, microconidiation, or ascospore formation. The only phenotype displayed by the rca-1 mutant was straight or counterclockwise hyphal growth rather than the clockwise spiral growth observed for wild type. Thus, if rca-1 is involved in N. crassa development, its role is subtle or redundant.
author list (cited authors)
Shen, W., Wieser, J., Adams, T. H., & Ebbole, D. J.