The gene of B2682, when present in high copy number, results in both suppression of sporulation and fragmented growth of mycelia. Western analysis with polyclonal antibodies against the gene product (SsgA) revealed a close correlation between SsgA accumulation and the onset of sporulation in wild-type cells. The protein was only detected in the cytoplasm. Certain developmental mutants of ( and ) which are defective in aerial mycelium formation in solid culture and submerged spore formation in liquid culture failed to accumulate SsgA. The SsgA protein appeared shortly (1 h) after nutritional shift-down of strain B2682 cells, mutant cells sporulated and expressed SsgA only when A-factor was present both before and after nutritional shift-down. Introduction of the gene in a low-copy-number vector into strain B2682 resulted in fivefold overexpression of SsgA, and was accompanied by fragmented growth of mycelia and suppression of submerged spore formation (in liquid culture) and aerial mycelium formation (in solid culture). Streptomycin production was not inhibited. In a control experiment, a nonfunctional gene possessing a frameshift mutation near its N-terminus had no effect on either growth or sporulation. It is proposed that the gene product plays a role in promoting the developmental process of


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