The Localization and Dynamics of Actin in Aspergillus nidulans
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F-actin, a cytoskeletal component of microfilaments, plays an important role in fungal growth and development. It can be found in different forms, including cables and patches. Lifeact is a fluorescent reporter of actin dynamics in live cells. The Lifeact construct was transformed into Aspergillus nidulans to monitor the dynamics of actin using time-lapse imaging and fluorescence microscopy. Subapical collars, composed of F-actin patches associated with endocytosis, have been found to be necessary components for polar growth in the hyphae of A. nidulans. Actin cables, which form the contractile actin ring (CAR), were observed during the formation of the septum. Actin rings were also localized to sites where new branches were formed. Actin cables, coalescing to form the apical actin array (AAA), localized to sites of new branch formation. The AAA also localized to the site where polarity was established in conidial germination. As germ tube development was initiated, the AAA simultaneously migrated into the site of new growth. The AAA has been documented in the tips of other growing fungi. Similar patterns were noted in A. nidulans. Actin dynamics were documented during conidial and hyphal anastomosis. Actin cables localized to site of fusion in each cell. In addition, subapical actin webs (SAWs), or masses of F-actin cables, were found distal to the apex in other hyphae. Future research is needed to understand the mechanisms of the SAW structure. Through the understanding of actin dynamics in the developmental stages of filamentous fungi, we may be able to develop ways to control fungal diseases of plants and animals.
Hilton, Angelyn Elizabeth (2013). The Localization and Dynamics of Actin in Aspergillus nidulans. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from