Cell Pattern Formation in Aspergillus Nidulans
A fundamental problem in eucaryotic biology is the elucidation of the molecular basis for the orderly creation and spatial organization of diverse cell types into a morphology specific for an organism or developmental state. The long term goal of this project is to approach the problem via a molecular analysis of mechanisms that control cell differentiation and cell pattern formation during asexual reproduction (conidiation) in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. The functions of five characterized regulatory genes interact to direct morphogenetic events during conidiation. Two of these, stunted (stuA) and medusa (medA), are required to establish correct patterns of cell differentiation and the organization of these new cell types into the aerial reproductive structure. The specific goals of this project are: 1) to determine cis-acting regulatory elements required for transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of stuA expression, 2) to isolate genes encoding trans-acting factors effecting stuA gene expression, 3) to use antibodies directed against Stu A protein for biochemical characterization and in situ localization, 4) to isolate genes whose expression is dependent upon StuA function nad 5) to physically characterize the medA gene.