In the course of differentiation, glycogen is accumulated in two discrete phases: in substrate hyphae that undergo aerial mycelium formation (phase I), and during septation of aerial hyphae (phase II). We have disrupted a previously identified gene, encoding a putative glycogen-branching enzyme in Disruption of the gene had no profound effect on sporulation. However, the amount of glycogen-like polysaccharides, compared to wild-type (WT) decreased in the late stage of differentiation of the -disrupted strain. Absorption spectra of polysaccharides extracted from the WT and -disrupted strains have shown the presence of glycogen in both strains in the first stage of differentiation (aerial mycelium formation), and unbranched glucan was detected in the -disrupted strain in the late stage of differentiation. The results were confirmed by electron microscopy after silver proteinate staining of glycogen granules. Two distinct glycogen-branching enzymes, which had temporally different expression during differentiation, were detected in WT The absence of this enzyme activity in the late stage of differentiation in the mutant suggests that the product of the gene is responsible for phase II glycogen accumulation.


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