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J Bacteriol. 1983 October; 156(1): 155–160.
PMCID: PMC215064

Kinetics of the nuclear division cycle of Aspergillus nidulans.


We have analyzed the cell cycle kinetics of Aspergillus nidulans by using the DNA synthesis inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU) and a temperature-sensitive cell cycle mutant nimT that blocks in G2. HU rapidly inhibits DNA synthesis (S), and as a consequence progression beyond S to mitosis (M) is blocked. Upon removal of HU the inhibition is rapidly reversible. Conidia (asexual spores) of nimT were germinated at restrictive temperature to synchronize germlings in G2 and then downshifted to permissive temperature in the presence of HU. This procedure synchronizes the germlings at the beginning of S in the second cell cycle after spore germination. We have measured the total duration of S, G2, and M as the time required for these cells to recover from the HU block and undergo the next nuclear division. The duration of S was defined by the time course of sensitivity to reintroduction of HU during recovery from the initial HU block. The cell cycle time was measured as the nuclear doubling time, and the duration of mitosis was determined from the mitotic index. The duration of G1 was calculated by subtracting the combined durations of S, G2, and M from the nuclear doubling time, and the length of G2 was calculated by subtracting S and M from the aggregate length of S, G2, and M. We have also determined the duration of the phases of the cell cycle during the first cycle after spore germination. In these experiments spores were germinated directly in HU without first being blocked in G2. Because the durations of G1, S, G2, and M for the first cell cycle after spore germination were identical with those previously determined for spores presynchronized at the beginning of S in the second cell cycle, we conclude that dormant conidia of A. nidulans are arrested at, or before, the start of S.

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