Characterizing the role of the microtubule binding protein Bim1 in Cryptococcus neoformans.
ABSTRACT: During sexual development the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans undergoes a developmental transition from yeast-form growth to filamentous growth. This transition requires cellular restructuring to form a filamentous dikaryon. Dikaryotic growth also requires tightly controlled nuclear migration to ensure faithful replication and dissemination of genetic material to spore progeny. Although the gross morphological changes that take place during dikaryotic growth are largely known, the molecular underpinnings that control this process are uncharacterized. Here we identify and characterize a C. neoformans homolog of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae BIM1 gene, and establish the importance of BIM1 for proper filamentous growth of C. neoformans. Deletion of BIM1 leads to truncated sexual development filaments, a severe defect in diploid formation, and a block in monokaryotic fruiting. Our findings lead to a model consistent with a critical role for BIM1 in both filament integrity and nuclear congression that is mediated through the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Project description:Dichomitussqualens is a white-rot fungus that colonizes and grows mainly on softwood and is commonly found in the northern parts of Europe, North America, and Asia. We analyzed the genetic and physiological diversity of eight D. squalens monokaryons derived from a single dikaryon. In addition, an unrelated dikaryon and a newly established dikaryon from two of the studied monokaryons were included. Both growth and lignocellulose acting enzyme profiles were highly variable between the studied monokaryotic and dikaryotic strains, demonstrating a high level of diversity within the species.
Project description:Coprinus cinereus has two main types of mycelia, the asexual monokaryon and the sexual dikaryon, formed by fusion of compatible monokaryons. Syngamy (plasmogamy) and karyogamy are spatially and temporally separated, which is typical for basidiomycetous fungi. This property of the dikaryon enables an easy exchange of nuclear partners in further dikaryotic-monokaryotic and dikaryotic-dikaryotic mycelial fusions. Fruiting bodies normally develop on the dikaryon, and the cytological process of fruiting-body development has been described in its principles. Within the specialized basidia, present within the gills of the fruiting bodies, karyogamy occurs in a synchronized manner. It is directly followed by meiosis and by the production of the meiotic basidiospores. The synchrony of karyogamy and meiosis has made the fungus a classical object to study meiotic cytology and recombination. Several genes involved in these processes have been identified. Both monokaryons and dikaryons can form multicellular resting bodies (sclerotia) and different types of mitotic spores, the small uninucleate aerial oidia, and, within submerged mycelium, the large thick-walled chlamydospores. The decision about whether a structure will be formed is made on the basis of environmental signals (light, temperature, humidity, and nutrients). Of the intrinsic factors that control development, the products of the two mating type loci are most important. Mutant complementation and PCR approaches identified further genes which possibly link the two mating-type pathways with each other and with nutritional regulation, for example with the cAMP signaling pathway. Among genes specifically expressed within the fruiting body are those for two galectins, beta-galactoside binding lectins that probably act in hyphal aggregation. These genes serve as molecular markers to study development in wild-type and mutant strains. The isolation of genes for potential non-DNA methyltransferases, needed for tissue formation within the fruiting body, promises the discovery of new signaling pathways, possibly involving secondary fungal metabolites.
Project description:Schizophyllum commune is a filamentous basidiomycete causing white-rot in many wood species with the help of a broad range of enzymes including multicopper oxidases such as laccases and laccase-like oxidases. Since these enzymes exhibit a broad substrate range, their ability to oxidatively degrade black slate was investigated. Both haploid monokaryotic, and mated dikaryotic strains were able to grow on black slate rich in organic carbon as sole carbon source. On defined media, only the monokaryon showed growth promotion by addition of slate. At the same time, metals were released from the slate and, after reaching a threshold concentration, inhibited further growth of the fungus. The proteome during decomposition of the black slate showed induction of proteins potentially involved in rock degradation and stress resistance, and the gene for laccase-like oxidase mco2 was up-regulated. Specifically in the dikaryon, the laccase gene lcc1 was induced, while lcc2 as well as mco1, mco3, and mco4 expression levels remained similar. Spectrophotometric analysis revealed that both life forms were able to degrade the rock and produce smaller particles.
Project description:Sexual reproduction is critical for successful evolution of eukaryotic organisms in adaptation to changing environments. In the opportunistic human fungal pathogens, the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex, C. neoformans primarily undergoes bisexual reproduction, while C. deneoformans undergoes both unisexual and bisexual reproduction. During both unisexual and bisexual cycles, a common set of genetic circuits regulates a yeast-to-hyphal morphological transition, that produces either monokaryotic or dikaryotic hyphae. As such, both the unisexual and bisexual cycles can generate genotypic and phenotypic diversity de novo. Despite the similarities between these two cycles, genetic and morphological differences exist, such as the absence of an opposite mating-type partner and monokaryotic instead of dikaryotic hyphae during C. deneoformans unisexual cycle. To better understand the similarities and differences between these modes of sexual reproduction, we focused on two cellular processes involved in sexual reproduction: cell-cell fusion and karyogamy. We identified orthologs of the plasma membrane fusion protein Prm1 and the nuclear membrane fusion protein Kar5 in both Cryptococcus species, and demonstrated their conserved roles in cell fusion and karyogamy during C. deneoformans ?-? unisexual reproduction and C. deneoformans and C. neoformans a-? bisexual reproduction. Notably, karyogamy occurs inside the basidum during bisexual reproduction in C. neoformans, but often occurs earlier following cell fusion during bisexual reproduction in C. deneoformans. Characterization of these two genes also showed that cell fusion is dispensable for solo unisexual reproduction in C. deneoformans. The blastospores produced along hyphae during C. deneoformans unisexual reproduction are diploid, suggesting that diploidization occurs early during hyphal development, possibly through either an endoreplication pathway or cell fusion-independent karyogamy events. Taken together, our findings suggest distinct mating mechanisms for unisexual and bisexual reproduction in Cryptococcus, exemplifying distinct evolutionary trajectories within this pathogenic species complex.
Project description:Coprinopsis cinerea vegetative dikaryotic mycelia compared to vegetative monokaryotic mycelia Overall design: Vegetative dikaryon cDNA was comparitively hybridized with monokaryotic vegetative cDNA. Labelled cDNA was hybridized to arrays in a 2 channel reaction.
Project description:Coprinopsis cinerea vegetative dikaryotic mycelia compared to vegetative monokaryotic mycelia Vegetative dikaryon cDNA was comparitively hybridized with monokaryotic vegetative cDNA. Labelled cDNA was hybridized to arrays in a 2 channel reaction.
Project description:Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal human pathogen with a bipolar mating system. It undergoes a dimorphic transition from a unicellular yeast to hyphal filamentous growth during mating and monokaryotic fruiting. The traditional sexual cycle that leads to the production of infectious basidiospores involves cells of both alpha and a mating type. Monokaryotic fruiting is a modified form of sexual reproduction that involves cells of the same mating type, most commonly alpha, which is the predominant mating type in both the environment and clinical isolates. However, some a isolates can also undergo monokaryotic fruiting. To determine whether mating type and other genetic loci contribute to the differences in fruiting observed between alpha and a cells, we applied quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping to an inbred population of F2 progeny. We discovered that variation in hyphal length produced during fruiting is a quantitative trait resulting from the combined effects of multiple genetic loci, including the mating type (MAT) locus. Importantly, the alpha allele of the MAT locus enhanced hyphal growth compared with the a allele. Other virulence traits, including melanization and growth at 39 degrees C, also are quantitative traits that share a common QTL with hyphal growth. The Mac1 transcription factor, encoded in this common QTL, regulates copper homeostasis. MAC1 allelic differences contribute to phenotypic variation, and mac1Delta mutants exhibit defects in filamentation, melanin production, and high temperature growth. Further characterization of these QTL regions will reveal additional quantitative trait genes controlling biological processes central to fungal development and pathogenicity.
Project description:In order to study the effect of light on gene expression in Schizophyllum commune, genome wide gene expression was analysed in 4-day-old monokaryotic and dikaryotic wild type colonies, grown either in light or in darkness. Overall design: 4 samples: - monokaryon, grown for 4 days in the light - monokaryon, grown for 4 days in the dark - dikaryon, grown for 4 days in the light - dikaryon, grown for 4 days in the dark RNA was obtained from 3 biological replicates and pooled
Project description:In wild-type crosses of the filamentous ascomycete Podospora anserina, after fertilization, only nuclei of opposite mating type can form dikaryons that undergo karyogamy and meiosis, producing biparental progeny. To determine the role played by the mating type in these steps, the four mat genes were mutagenized in vitro and introduced into a strain deleted for its mat locus. Genetic and cytological analyses of these mutant strain, crossed to each other and to wild type, showed that mating-type information is required for recognition of nuclear identity during the early steps of sexual reproduction. In crosses with strain carrying a mating-type mutation, two unusual developmental patterns were observed: monokaryotic cells, resulting in haploid meiosis, and uniparental dikaryotic cells providing, after karyogamy and meiosis, a uniparental progeny. Altered mating-type identity leads to selfish behavior of the mutant nucleus: it migrates alone or paired, ignoring its wild-type partner in all mutant x wild-type crosses. This behavior is nucleus-autonomous because, in the same cytoplasm, the wild-type nuclei form only biparental dikaryons. In P. anserina, mat genes are thus required to ensure a biparental dikaryotic state but appear dispensable for later stages, such as meiosis and sporulation.
Project description:In order to study the effect of light on gene expression in Schizophyllum commune, genome wide gene expression was analysed in 4-day-old monokaryotic and dikaryotic wild type colonies, grown either in light or in darkness. 4 samples: - monokaryon, grown for 4 days in the light - monokaryon, grown for 4 days in the dark - dikaryon, grown for 4 days in the light - dikaryon, grown for 4 days in the dark RNA was obtained from 3 biological replicates and pooled