1887

Abstract

is a thermally dimorphic fungus and a highly significant pathogen of immunocompromised individuals living in or having travelled in south-east Asia. At 25 °C, grows filamentously. Under the appropriate conditions, these filaments (hyphae) produce conidiophores bearing chains of conidia. Yet, when incubated at 37 °C, or upon infecting host tissue, grows as a yeast that divides by binary fission. Previously, an -mediated transformation system was used to randomly mutagenize , resulting in the isolation of a mutant defective in normal patterns of morphogenesis and conidiogenesis. The interrupted gene was identified as . In the current study, we demonstrate that the mutant produced fewer conidia at 25 °C than the wild-type and a complemented strain. In addition, disruption of the gene resulted in early conidial germination and perturbation of cell wall integrity. The mutant exhibited abnormal chitin distribution while growing at 25 °C, but not at 37 °C. Interestingly, at both temperatures, the mutant possessed increased chitin content, which was accompanied by amplified transcription of two chitin synthase genes, and . Moreover, the expression of was induced during post-exponential-phase growth as well as by heat shock. Thus, is required for normal patterns of development, cell wall integrity, chitin deposition, appropriate expression and heat stress response in .

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Thai Ministry of Education
  • Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University
  • Youngstown State University
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2014-09-01
2021-10-26
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