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1.  Organization of Organelles within Hyphae of Ashbya gossypii Revealed by Electron Tomography 
Eukaryotic Cell  2013;12(11):1423-1432.
Ashbya gossypii grows as multinucleated and constantly elongating hyphae. Nuclei are in continuous forward and backward motion, also move during mitosis, and frequently bypass each other. Whereas these nuclear movements are well documented, comparatively little is known about the density and morphology of organelles which very likely influence these movements. To understand the three-dimensional subcellular organization of hyphae at high resolution, we performed large-scale electron tomography of the tip regions in A. gossypii. Here, we present a comprehensive space-filling model in which most membrane-limited organelles including nuclei, mitochondria, endosomes, multivesicular bodies, vacuoles, autophagosomes, peroxisomes, and vesicles are modeled. Nuclei revealed different morphologies and protrusions filled by the nucleolus. Mitochondria are very abundant and form a tubular network with a polarized spherical fraction. The organelles of the degradative pathways show a clustered organization. By analyzing vesicle-like bodies, we identified three size classes of electron-dense vesicles (∼200, ∼150, and ∼100 nm) homogeneously distributed in the cytoplasm which most likely represent peroxisomes. Finally, coated and uncoated vesicles with approximately 40-nm diameters show a polarized distribution toward the hyphal tip with the coated vesicles preferentially localizing at the hyphal periphery.
PMCID: PMC3837942  PMID: 23771903
2.  Genomes of Ashbya Fungi Isolated from Insects Reveal Four Mating-Type Loci, Numerous Translocations, Lack of Transposons, and Distinct Gene Duplications 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2013;3(8):1225-1239.
The filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii is a cotton pathogen transmitted by insects. It is readily grown and manipulated in the laboratory and is commercially exploited as a natural overproducer of vitamin B2. Our previous genome analysis of A. gossypii isolate ATCC10895, collected in Trinidad nearly 100 years ago, revealed extensive synteny with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, leading us to use it as a model organism to understand the evolution of filamentous growth. To further develop Ashbya as a model system, we have investigated the ecological niche of A. gossypii and isolated additional strains and a sibling species, both useful in comparative analysis. We isolated fungi morphologically similar to A. gossypii from different plant-feeding insects of the suborder Heteroptera, generated a phylogenetic tree based on rDNA-ITS sequences, and performed high coverage short read sequencing with one A. gossypii isolate from Florida, a new species, Ashbya aceri, isolated in North Carolina, and a genetically marked derivative of ATCC10895 intensively used for functional studies. In contrast to S. cerevisiae, all strains carry four not three mating type loci, adding a new puzzle in the evolution of Ashbya species. Another surprise was the genome identity of 99.9% between the Florida strain and ATCC10895, isolated in Trinidad. The A. aceri and A. gossypii genomes show conserved gene orders rearranged by eight translocations, 90% overall sequence identity, and fewer tandem duplications in the A. aceri genome. Both species lack transposable elements. Finally, our work identifies plant-feeding insects of the suborder Heteroptera as the most likely natural reservoir of Ashbya, and that infection of cotton and other plants may be incidental to the growth of the fungus in its insect host.
PMCID: PMC3737163  PMID: 23749448
fungal ecology; tandem duplications; intron evolution; mating type
3.  Clustering of Nuclei in Multinucleated Hyphae Is Prevented by Dynein-Driven Bidirectional Nuclear Movements and Microtubule Growth Control in Ashbya gossypii ▿ † 
Eukaryotic Cell  2011;10(7):902-915.
During filamentous fungus development, multinucleated hyphae employ a system for long-range nuclear migration to maintain an equal nuclear density. A decade ago the microtubule motor dynein was shown to play a central role in this process. Previous studies with Ashbya gossypii revealed extensive bidirectional movements and bypassings of nuclei, an autonomous cytoplasmic microtubule (cMT) cytoskeleton emanating from each nucleus, and pulling of nuclei by sliding of cMTs along the cortex. Here, we show that dynein is the sole motor for bidirectional movements and bypassing because these movements are concomitantly decreased in mutants carrying truncations of the dynein heavy-chain DYN1 promoter. The dynactin component Jnm1, the accessory proteins Dyn2 and Ndl1, and the potential dynein cortical anchor Num1 are also involved in the dynamic distribution of nuclei. In their absence, nuclei aggregate to different degrees, whereby the mutants with dense nuclear clusters grow extremely long cMTs. As in budding yeast, we found that dynein is delivered to cMT plus ends, and its activity or processivity is probably controlled by dynactin and Num1. Together with its role in powering nuclear movements, we propose that dynein also plays (directly or indirectly) a role in the control of cMT length. Those combined dynein actions prevent nuclear clustering in A. gossypii and thus reveal a novel cellular role for dynein.
PMCID: PMC3147418  PMID: 21642510
4.  Regulation of exit from mitosis in multinucleate Ashbya gossypii cells relies on a minimal network of genes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(17):3081-3093.
Homologues of all components of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae FEAR and MEN pathways are expressed in the multinucleated hyphae of Ashbya gossypii despite the lack of controlled nuclear positioning and mitosis-dependent septum formation. In this system, MEN loses its dominant role, and nuclear divisions are controlled by FEAR homologues.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitosis is coupled to cell division by the action of the Cdc fourteen early anaphase release (FEAR) and mitotic exit network (MEN) regulatory networks, which mediate exit from mitosis by activation of the phosphatase Cdc14. The closely related filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii provides a unique cellular setting to study the evolution of these networks. Within its multinucleate hyphae, nuclei are free to divide without the spatial and temporal constraints described for budding yeast. To investigate how this highly conserved system has adapted to these circumstances, we constructed a series of mutants lacking homologues of core components of MEN and FEAR and monitored phenomena such as progression through mitosis and Cdc14 activation. MEN homologues in A. gossypii were shown to have diverged from their anticipated role in Cdc14 release and exit from mitosis. We observed defects in septation, as well as a partial metaphase arrest, in Agtem1Δ, Agcdc15Δ, Agdbf2/dbf20Δ, and Agmob1Δ. A. gossypii homologues of the FEAR network, on the other hand, have a conserved and more pronounced role in regulation of the M/G1 transition. Agcdc55Δ mutants are unable to sequester AgCdc14 throughout interphase. We propose a reduced model of the networks described in yeast, with a low degree of functional redundancy, convenient for further investigations into these networks.
PMCID: PMC3164456  PMID: 21737675
5.  Nuclear Dynamics during Germination, Conidiation, and Hyphal Fusion of Fusarium oxysporum ▿ † 
Eukaryotic Cell  2010;9(8):1216-1224.
In many fungal pathogens, infection is initiated by conidial germination. Subsequent stages involve germ tube elongation, conidiation, and vegetative hyphal fusion (anastomosis). Here, we used live-cell fluorescence to study the dynamics of green fluorescent protein (GFP)- and cherry fluorescent protein (ChFP)-labeled nuclei in the plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Hyphae of F. oxysporum have uninucleated cells and exhibit an acropetal nuclear pedigree, where only the nucleus in the apical compartment is mitotically active. In contrast, conidiation follows a basopetal pattern, whereby mononucleated microconidia are generated by repeated mitotic cycles of the subapical nucleus in the phialide, followed by septation and cell abscission. Vegetative hyphal fusion is preceded by directed growth of the fusion hypha toward the receptor hypha and followed by a series of postfusion nuclear events, including mitosis of the apical nucleus of the fusion hypha, migration of a daughter nucleus into the receptor hypha, and degradation of the resident nucleus. These previously unreported patterns of nuclear dynamics in F. oxysporum could be intimately related to its pathogenic lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC2918926  PMID: 20543061
6.  Dynamics of Multiple Nuclei in Ashbya gossypii Hyphae Depend on the Control of Cytoplasmic Microtubules Length by Bik1, Kip2, Kip3, and Not on a Capture/Shrinkage Mechanism 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(21):3680-3692.
The multinucleate growth mode of A. gossypii has resulted in a unique control of cytoplasmic MT dynamics. Our analyses of MT +tips behavior and cMT–cell cortex interactions show the necessity of A. gossypii to produce very long cMTs for nuclear migration to compensate the lack of MT capture/shrinkage mechanisms important in budding yeast.
Ashbya gossypii has a budding yeast-like genome but grows exclusively as multinucleated hyphae. In contrast to budding yeast where positioning of nuclei at the bud neck is a major function of cytoplasmic microtubules (cMTs), A. gossypii nuclei are constantly in motion and positioning is not an issue. To investigate the role of cMTs in nuclear oscillation and bypassing, we constructed mutants potentially affecting cMT lengths. Hyphae lacking the plus (+)end marker Bik1 or the kinesin Kip2 cannot polymerize long cMTs and lose wild-type nuclear movements. Interestingly, hyphae lacking the kinesin Kip3 display longer cMTs concomitant with increased nuclear oscillation and bypassing. Polymerization and depolymerization rates of cMTs are 3 times higher in A. gossypii than in budding yeast and cMT catastrophes are rare. Growing cMTs slide along the hyphal cortex and exert pulling forces on nuclei. Surprisingly, a capture/shrinkage mechanism seems to be absent in A. gossypii. cMTs reaching a hyphal tip do not shrink, and cMT +ends accumulate in hyphal tips. Thus, differences in cMT dynamics and length control between budding yeast and A. gossypii are key elements in the adaptation of the cMT cytoskeleton to much longer cells and much higher degrees of nuclear mobilities.
PMCID: PMC2965685  PMID: 20844079
7.  Structural Mutants of the Spindle Pole Body Cause Distinct Alteration of Cytoplasmic Microtubules and Nuclear Dynamics in Multinucleated Hyphae 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(5):753-766.
To determine how microtubule (MT) nucleation and nuclear migration are controlled in multinucleated hyphae we deleted genes encoding MTOC subunits and AgStu2. The novel phenotypes we observed in these mutants compared with analogous deletions in budding yeast allowed us to assign functions to the two types of cMTs that we observe in A. gossypii.
In the multinucleate fungus Ashbya gossypii, cytoplasmic microtubules (cMTs) emerge from the spindle pole body outer plaque (OP) in perpendicular and tangential directions. To elucidate the role of cMTs in forward/backward movements (oscillations) and bypassing of nuclei, we constructed mutants potentially affecting cMT nucleation or stability. Hyphae lacking the OP components AgSpc72, AgNud1, AgCnm67, or the microtubule-stabilizing factor AgStu2 grew like wild- type but showed substantial alterations in the number, length, and/or nucleation sites of cMTs. These mutants differently influenced nuclear oscillation and bypassing. In Agspc72Δ, only long cMTs were observed, which emanate tangentially from reduced OPs; nuclei mainly moved with the cytoplasmic stream but some performed rapid bypassing. Agnud1Δ and Agcnm67Δ lack OPs; short and long cMTs emerged from the spindle pole body bridge/half-bridge structures, explaining nuclear oscillation and bypassing in these mutants. In Agstu2Δ only very short cMTs emanated from structurally intact OPs; all nuclei moved with the cytoplasmic stream. Therefore, long tangential cMTs promote nuclear bypassing and short cMTs are important for nuclear oscillation. Our electron microscopy ultrastructural analysis also indicated that assembly of the OP occurs in a stepwise manner, starting with AgCnm67, followed by AgNud1 and lastly AgSpc72.
PMCID: PMC2828962  PMID: 20053682
8.  Mobility, Microtubule Nucleation and Structure of Microtubule-organizing Centers in Multinucleated Hyphae of Ashbya gossypii 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(1):18-28.
We used live imaging and EM to study migration of multiple nuclei in A. gossypii. Three types of nuclear movements, oscillation, rotation, and bypassing, depend on cytoplasmic microtubules while a fourth type, co-transport with the cytoplasmic stream, does not. Nuclear MTOCs emanating perpendicular and tangential cMTs lead cMT-dependent movements
We investigated the migration of multiple nuclei in hyphae of the filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii. Three types of cytoplasmic microtubule (cMT)-dependent nuclear movements were characterized using live cell imaging: short-range oscillations (up to 4.5 μm/min), rotations (up to 180° in 30 s), and long-range nuclear bypassing (up to 9 μm/min). These movements were superimposed on a cMT-independent mode of nuclear migration, cotransport with the cytoplasmic stream. This latter mode is sufficient to support wild-type-like hyphal growth speeds. cMT-dependent nuclear movements were led by a nuclear-associated microtubule-organizing center, the spindle pole body (SPB), which is the sole site of microtubule nucleation in A. gossypii. Analysis of A. gossypii SPBs by electron microscopy revealed an overall laminar structure similar to the budding yeast SPB but with distinct differences at the cytoplasmic side. Up to six perpendicular and tangential cMTs emanated from a more spherical outer plaque. The perpendicular and tangential cMTs most likely correspond to short, often cortex-associated cMTs and to long, hyphal growth-axis–oriented cMTs, respectively, seen by in vivo imaging. Each SPB nucleates its own array of cMTs, and the lack of overlapping cMT arrays between neighboring nuclei explains the autonomous nuclear oscillations and bypassing observed in A. gossypii hyphae.
PMCID: PMC2801712  PMID: 19910487
9.  Of Bars and Rings: Hof1-Dependent Cytokinesis in Multiseptated Hyphae of Ashbya gossypii▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;29(3):771-783.
We analyzed the development of multiple septa in elongated multinucleated cells (hyphae) of the filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii in which septation is apparently uncoupled from nuclear cycles. A key player for this compartmentalization is the PCH protein Hof1. Hyphae that are lacking this protein form neither actin rings nor septa but still elongate at wild-type speed. Using in vivo fluorescence microscopy, we present for the first time the coordination of cytokinesis and septation in multiseptated and multinucleated cells. Hof1, the type II myosin Myo1, the landmark protein Bud3, and the IQGAP Cyk1 form collars of cortical bars already adjacent to hyphal tips, thereby marking the sites of septation. While hyphae continue to elongate, these proteins gradually form cortical rings. This bar-to-ring transition depends on Hof1 and Cyk1 but not Myo1 and is required for actin ring assembly. The Fes/CIP4 homology (FCH) domain of Hof1 ensures efficient localization of Hof1, whereas ring integrity is conferred by the Src homology 3 (SH3) domain. Up to several hours after site selection, actin ring contraction leads to membrane invagination and subsequent cytokinesis. Simultaneously, a septum forms between the adjacent hyphal compartments, which do not separate. During evolution, A. gossypii lost the homologs of two enzymes essential for cell separation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
PMCID: PMC2630676  PMID: 19029253
10.  Limited Functional Redundancy and Oscillation of Cyclins in Multinucleated Ashbya gossypii Fungal Cells▿ †  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;6(3):473-486.
Cyclin protein behavior has not been systematically investigated in multinucleated cells with asynchronous mitoses. Cyclins are canonical oscillating cell cycle proteins, but it is unclear how fluctuating protein gradients can be established in multinucleated cells where nuclei in different stages of the division cycle share the cytoplasm. Previous work in A. gossypii, a filamentous fungus in which nuclei divide asynchronously in a common cytoplasm, demonstrated that one G1 and one B-type cyclin do not fluctuate in abundance across the division cycle. We have undertaken a comprehensive analysis of all G1 and B-type cyclins in A. gossypii to determine whether any of the cyclins show periodic abundance across the cell cycle and to examine whether cyclins exhibit functional redundancy in such a cellular environment. We localized all G1 and B-type cyclins and notably found that only AgClb5/6p varies in subcellular localization during the division cycle. AgClb5/6p is lost from nuclei at the meta-anaphase transition in a D-box-dependent manner. These data demonstrate that efficient nuclear autonomous protein degradation can occur within multinucleated cells residing in a common cytoplasm. We have shown that three of the five cyclins in A. gossypii are essential genes, indicating that there is minimal functional redundancy in this multinucleated system. In addition, we have identified a cyclin, AgClb3/4p, that is essential only for sporulation. We propose that the cohabitation of different cyclins in nuclei has led to enhanced substrate specificity and limited functional redundancy within classes of cyclins in multinucleated cells.
PMCID: PMC1828934  PMID: 17122387
11.  The Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome Is Required for Anaphase Progression in Multinucleated Ashbya gossypii Cells▿ †  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;6(2):182-197.
Regulated protein degradation is essential for eukaryotic cell cycle progression. The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is responsible for the protein destruction required for the initiation of anaphase and the exit from mitosis, including the degradation of securin and B-type cyclins. We initiated a study of the APC/C in the multinucleated, filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii to understand the mechanisms underlying the asynchronous mitosis observed in these cells. These experiments were motivated by previous work which demonstrated that the mitotic cyclin AgClb1/2p persists through anaphase, suggesting that the APC/C may not be required for the division cycle in A. gossypii. We have now found that the predicted APC/C components AgCdc23p and AgDoc1p and the targeting factors AgCdc20p and AgCdh1p are essential for growth and nuclear division. Mutants lacking any of these factors arrest as germlings with nuclei blocked in mitosis. A likely substrate of the APC/C is the securin homologue AgPds1p, which is present in all nuclei in hyphae except those in anaphase. The destruction box sequence of AgPds1p is required for this timed disappearance. To investigate how the APC/C may function to degrade AgPds1p in only the subset of anaphase nuclei, we localized components and targeting subunits of the APC/C. Remarkably, AgCdc23p, AgDoc1p, and AgCdc16p were found in all nuclei in all cell cycle stages, as were the APC/C targeting factors AgCdc20p and AgCdh1p. These data suggest that the AgAPC/C may be constitutively active across the cell cycle and that proteolysis in these multinucleated cells may be regulated at the level of substrates rather than by the APC/C itself.
PMCID: PMC1797942  PMID: 17158735
12.  The SH3/PH Domain Protein AgBoi1/2 Collaborates with the Rho-Type GTPase AgRho3 To Prevent Nonpolar Growth at Hyphal Tips of Ashbya gossypii▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;5(10):1635-1647.
Unlike most other cells, hyphae of filamentous fungi permanently elongate and lack nonpolar growth phases. We identified AgBoi1/2p in the filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii as a component required to prevent nonpolar growth at hyphal tips. Strains lacking AgBoi1/2p frequently show spherical enlargement at hyphal tips with concomitant depolarization of actin patches and loss of tip-located actin cables. These enlarged tips can repolarize and resume hyphal tip extension in the previous polarity axis. AgBoi1/2p permanently localizes to hyphal tips and transiently to sites of septation. Only the tip localization is important for sustained elongation of hyphae. In a yeast two-hybrid experiment, we identified the Rho-type GTPase AgRho3p as an interactor of AgBoi1/2p. AgRho3p is also required to prevent nonpolar growth at hyphal tips, and strains deleted for both AgBOI1/2 and AgRHO3 phenocopied the respective single-deletion strains, demonstrating that AgBoi1/2p and AgRho3p function in a common pathway. Monitoring the polarisome of growing hyphae using AgSpa2p fused to the green fluorescent protein as a marker, we found that polarisome disassembly precedes the onset of nonpolar growth in strains lacking AgBoi1/2p or AgRho3p. AgRho3p locked in its GTP-bound form interacts with the Rho-binding domain of the polarisome-associated formin AgBni1p, implying that AgRho3p has the capacity to directly activate formin-driven actin cable nucleation. We conclude that AgBoi1/2p and AgRho3p support polarisome-mediated actin cable formation at hyphal tips, thereby ensuring permanent polar tip growth.
PMCID: PMC1595331  PMID: 16950929
13.  Ashbya Genome Database 3.0: a cross-species genome and transcriptome browser for yeast biologists 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:9.
The Ashbya Genome Database (AGD) 3.0 is an innovative cross-species genome and transcriptome browser based on release 40 of the Ensembl developer environment.
AGD 3.0 provides information on 4726 protein-encoding loci and 293 non-coding RNA genes present in the genome of the filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii. A synteny viewer depicts the chromosomal location and orientation of orthologous genes in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genome-wide expression profiling data obtained with high-density oligonucleotide microarrays (GeneChips) are available for nearly all currently annotated protein-coding loci in A. gossypii and S. cerevisiae.
AGD 3.0 hence provides yeast- and genome biologists with comprehensive report pages including reliable DNA annotation, Gene Ontology terms associated with S. cerevisiae orthologues and RNA expression data as well as numerous links to external sources of information. The database is accessible at .
PMCID: PMC1779777  PMID: 17212814
14.  Asynchronous nuclear division cycles in multinucleated cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;172(3):347-362.
Synchronous mitosis is common in multinucleated cells. We analyzed a unique asynchronous nuclear division cycle in a multinucleated filamentous fungus, Ashbya gossypii. Nuclear pedigree analysis and observation of GFP-labeled spindle pole bodies demonstrated that neighboring nuclei in A. gossypii cells are in different cell cycle stages despite close physical proximity. Neighboring nuclei did not differ significantly in their patterns of cyclin protein localization such that both G1 and mitotic cyclins were present regardless of cell cycle stage, suggesting that the complete destruction of cyclins is not occurring in this system. Indeed, the expression of mitotic cyclin lacking NH2-terminal destruction box sequences did not block cell cycle progression. Cells lacking AgSic1p, a predicted cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, however, showed aberrant multipolar spindles and fragmented nuclei that are indicative of flawed mitoses. We hypothesize that the continuous cytoplasm in these cells promoted the evolution of a nuclear division cycle in which CDK inhibitors primarily control CDK activity rather than oscillating mitotic cyclin proteins.
PMCID: PMC2063645  PMID: 16449188
15.  From Function to Shape: A Novel Role of a Formin in Morphogenesis of the Fungus Ashbya gossypiiV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2006;17(1):130-145.
Morphogenesis of filamentous ascomycetes includes continuously elongating hyphae, frequently emerging lateral branches, and, under certain circumstances, symmetrically dividing hyphal tips. We identified the formin AgBni1p of the model fungus Ashbya gossypii as an essential factor in these processes. AgBni1p is an essential protein apparently lacking functional overlaps with the two additional A. gossypii formins that are nonessential. Agbni1 null mutants fail to develop hyphae and instead expand to potato-shaped giant cells, which lack actin cables and thus tip-directed transport of secretory vesicles. Consistent with the essential role in hyphal development, AgBni1p locates to tips, but not to septa. The presence of a diaphanous autoregulatory domain (DAD) indicates that the activation of AgBni1p depends on Rho-type GTPases. Deletion of this domain, which should render AgBni1p constitutively active, completely changes the branching pattern of young hyphae. New axes of polarity are no longer established subapically (lateral branching) but by symmetric divisions of hyphal tips (tip splitting). In wild-type hyphae, tip splitting is induced much later and only at much higher elongation speed. When GTP-locked Rho-type GTPases were tested, only the young hyphae with mutated AgCdc42p split at their tips, similar to the DAD deletion mutant. Two-hybrid experiments confirmed that AgBni1p interacts with GTP-bound AgCdc42p. These data suggest a pathway for transforming one axis into two new axes of polar growth, in which an increased activation of AgBni1p by a pulse of activated AgCdc42p stimulates additional actin cable formation and tip-directed vesicle transport, thus enlarging and ultimately splitting the polarity site.
PMCID: PMC1345653  PMID: 16236798
16.  A Ras-like GTPase Is Involved in Hyphal Growth Guidance in the Filamentous Fungus Ashbya gossypiiV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(10):4622-4632.
Characteristic features of morphogenesis in filamentous fungi are sustained polar growth at tips of hyphae and frequent initiation of novel growth sites (branches) along the extending hyphae. We have begun to study regulation of this process on the molecular level by using the model fungus Ashbya gossypii. We found that the A. gossypii Ras-like GTPase Rsr1p/Bud1p localizes to the tip region and that it is involved in apical polarization of the actin cytoskeleton, a determinant of growth direction. In the absence of RSR1/BUD1, hyphal growth was severely slowed down due to frequent phases of pausing of growth at the hyphal tip. During pausing events a hyphal tip marker, encoded by the polarisome component AgSPA2, disappeared from the tip as was shown by in vivo time-lapse fluorescence microscopy of green fluorescent protein-labeled AgSpa2p. Reoccurrence of AgSpa2p was required for the resumption of hyphal growth. In the Agrsr1/bud1Δ deletion mutant, resumption of growth occurred at the hyphal tip in a frequently uncoordinated manner to the previous axis of polarity. Additionally, hyphal filaments in the mutant developed aberrant branching sites by mislocalizing AgSpa2p thus distorting hyphal morphology. These results define AgRsr1p/Bud1p as a key regulator of hyphal growth guidance.
PMCID: PMC519154  PMID: 15282338
17.  Maximal Polar Growth Potential Depends on the Polarisome Component AgSpa2 in the Filamentous Fungus Ashbya gossypiiV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(10):4140-4154.
We used actin staining and videomicroscopy to analyze the development from a spore to a young mycelium in the filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii. The development starts with an initial isotropic growth phase followed by the emergence of germ tubes. The initial tip growth speed of 6–10 μm/h increases during early stages of development. This increase is transiently interrupted in response to the establishment of lateral branches or septa. The hyphal tip growth speed finally reaches a maximum of up to 200 μm/h, and the tips of these mature hyphae have the ability to split into two equally fast-growing hyphae. A search for A. gossypii homologs of polarisome components of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed a remarkable size difference between Spa2p of both organisms, with AgSpa2p being double as long as ScSpa2p due to an extended internal domain. AgSpa2 colocalizes with sites of polarized actin. Using time-lapse videomicroscopy, we show that AgSpa2p-GFP polarization is established at sites of branch initiation and then permanently maintained at hyphal tips. Polarization at sites of septation is transient. During apical branching the existing AgSpa2p-GFP polarization is symmetrically divided. To investigate the function of AgSpa2p, we generated two AgSPA2 mutants, a partial deletion of the internal domain alone, and a complete deletion. The mutations had an impact on the maximal hyphal tip growth speed, on the hyphal diameter, and on the branching pattern. We suggest that AgSpa2p is required for the determination of the area of growth at the hyphal tip and that the extended internal domain plays an important role in this process.
PMCID: PMC207006  PMID: 12937275
18.  Reinvestigation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome annotation by comparison to the genome of a related fungus: Ashbya gossypii 
Genome Biology  2003;4(7):R45.
Although, the S. cerevisiae genome is rightly considered as one of the most accurately sequenced and annotated eukaryotic genomes, it still benefits substantially from comparison to the completed sequence and syntenic gene map of Ashbya gossypii, an evolutionarily related fungus.
The recently sequenced genome of the filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii revealed remarkable similarities to that of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae both at the level of homology and synteny (conservation of gene order). Thus, it became possible to reinvestigate the S. cerevisiae genome in the syntenic regions leading to an improved annotation.
We have identified 23 novel S. cerevisiae open reading frames (ORFs) as syntenic homologs of A. gossypii genes; for all but one, homologs are present in other eukaryotes including humans. Other comparisons identified 13 overlooked introns and suggested 69 potential sequence corrections resulting in ORF extensions or ORF fusions with improved homology to the syntenic A. gossypii homologs. Of the proposed corrections, 25 were tested and confirmed by resequencing. In addition, homologs of nearly 1,000 S. cerevisiae ORFs, presently annotated as hypothetical, were found in A. gossypii at syntenic positions and can therefore be considered as authentic genes. Finally, we suggest that over 400 S. cerevisiae ORFs that overlap other ORFs in S. cerevisiae and for which no homolog can be detected in A. gossypii should be regarded as spurious.
Although, the S. cerevisiae genome is rightly considered as one of the most accurately sequenced and annotated eukaryotic genomes, we have shown that it still benefits substantially from comparison to the completed sequence and syntenic gene map of A. gossypii, an evolutionarily related fungus. This type of approach will strongly support the annotation of more complex genomes such as the human and murine genomes.
PMCID: PMC193632  PMID: 12844361
19.  Reorientation of Mispositioned Spindles in Short Astral Microtubule Mutant spc72Δ Is Dependent on Spindle Pole Body Outer Plaque and Kar3 Motor ProteinV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(4):1366-1380.
Nuclear migration and positioning in Saccharomyces cerevisiae depend on long astral microtubules emanating from the spindle pole bodies (SPBs). Herein, we show by in vivo fluorescence microscopy that cells lacking Spc72, the SPB receptor of the cytoplasmic γ-tubulin complex, can only generate very short (<1 μm) and unstable astral microtubules. Consequently, nuclear migration to the bud neck and orientation of the anaphase spindle along the mother-bud axis are absent in these cells. However, SPC72 deletion is not lethal because elongated but misaligned spindles can frequently reorient in mother cells, permitting delayed but otherwise correct nuclear segregation. High-resolution time-lapse sequences revealed that this spindle reorientation was most likely accomplished by cortex interactions of the very short astral microtubules. In addition, a set of double mutants suggested that reorientation was dependent on the SPB outer plaque and the astral microtubule motor function of Kar3 but not Kip2/Kip3/Dhc1, or the cortex components Kar9/Num1. Our observations suggest that Spc72 is required for astral microtubule formation at the SPB half-bridge and for stabilization of astral microtubules at the SPB outer plaque. In addition, our data exclude involvement of Spc72 in spindle formation and elongation functions.
PMCID: PMC102275  PMID: 11950945
20.  A role for Vps1p, actin, and the Myo2p motor in peroxisome abundance and inheritance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;155(6):979-990.
In vivo time-lapse microscopy reveals that the number of peroxisomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells is fairly constant and that a subset of the organelles are targeted and segregated to the bud in a highly ordered, vectorial process. The dynamin-like protein Vps1p controls the number of peroxisomes, since in a vps1Δ mutant only one or two giant peroxisomes remain. Analogous to the function of other dynamin-related proteins, Vps1p may be involved in a membrane fission event that is required for the regulation of peroxisome abundance. We found that efficient segregation of peroxisomes from mother to bud is dependent on the actin cytoskeleton, and active movement of peroxisomes along actin filaments is driven by the class V myosin motor protein, Myo2p: (a) peroxisomal dynamics always paralleled the polarity of the actin cytoskeleton, (b) double labeling of peroxisomes and actin cables revealed a close association between both, (c) depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton abolished all peroxisomal movements, and (d) in cells containing thermosensitive alleles of MYO2, all peroxisome movement immediately stopped at the nonpermissive temperature. In addition, time-lapse videos showing peroxisome movement in wild-type and vps1Δ cells suggest the existence of various levels of control involved in the partitioning of peroxisomes.
PMCID: PMC2150915  PMID: 11733545
peroxisome inheritance; Vps1; fission; actin cytoskeleton; Myo2p
21.  Cnm67p Is a Spacer Protein of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spindle Pole Body Outer Plaque 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(8):2519-2533.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the spindle pole body (SPB) is the functional homolog of the mammalian centrosome, responsible for the organization of the tubulin cytoskeleton. Cytoplasmic (astral) microtubules essential for the proper segregation of the nucleus into the daughter cell are attached at the outer plaque on the SPB cytoplasmic face. Previously, it has been shown that Cnm67p is an integral component of this structure; cells deleted for CNM67 are lacking the SPB outer plaque and thus experience severe nuclear migration defects. With the use of partial deletion mutants of CNM67, we show that the N- and C-terminal domains of the protein are important for nuclear migration. The C terminus, not the N terminus, is essential for Cnm67p localization to the SPB. On the other hand, only the N terminus is subject to protein phosphorylation of a yet unknown function. Electron microscopy of SPB serial thin sections reveals that deletion of the N- or C-terminal domains disturbs outer plaque formation, whereas mutations in the central coiled-coil domain of Cnm67p change the distance between the SPB core and the outer plaque. We conclude that Cnm67p is the protein that connects the outer plaque to the central plaque embedded in the nuclear envelope, adjusting the space between them by the length of its coiled-coil.
PMCID: PMC58610  PMID: 11514632
22.  Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cells with Defective Spindle Pole Body Outer Plaques Accomplish Nuclear Migration via Half-Bridge–organized Microtubules 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(5):977-991.
Cnm67p, a novel yeast protein, localizes to the microtubule organizing center, the spindle pole body (SPB). Deletion of CNM67 (YNL225c) frequently results in spindle misorientation and impaired nuclear migration, leading to the generation of bi- and multinucleated cells (40%). Electron microscopy indicated that CNM67 is required for proper formation of the SPB outer plaque, a structure that nucleates cytoplasmic (astral) microtubules. Interestingly, cytoplasmic microtubules that are essential for spindle orientation and nuclear migration are still present in cnm67Δ1 cells that lack a detectable outer plaque. These microtubules are attached to the SPB half- bridge throughout the cell cycle. This interaction presumably allows for low-efficiency nuclear migration and thus provides a rescue mechanism in the absence of a functional outer plaque. Although CNM67 is not strictly required for mitosis, it is essential for sporulation. Time-lapse microscopy of cnm67Δ1 cells with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled nuclei indicated that CNM67 is dispensable for nuclear migration (congression) and nuclear fusion during conjugation. This is in agreement with previous data, indicating that cytoplasmic microtubules are organized by the half-bridge during mating.
PMCID: PMC25323  PMID: 9571234
23.  Time-Lapse Video Microscopy Analysis Reveals Astral Microtubule Detachment in the Yeast Spindle Pole Mutant cnm67V⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2000;11(4):1197-1211.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae cnm67Δ cells lack the spindle pole body (SPB) outer plaque, the main attachment site for astral (cytoplasmic) microtubules, leading to frequent nuclear segregation failure. We monitored dynamics of green fluorescent protein–labeled nuclei and microtubules over several cell cycles. Early nuclear migration steps such as nuclear positioning and spindle orientation were slightly affected, but late phases such as rapid oscillations and insertion of the anaphase nucleus into the bud neck were mostly absent. Analyzes of microtubule dynamics revealed normal behavior of the nuclear spindle but frequent detachment of astral microtubules after SPB separation. Concomitantly, Spc72 protein, the cytoplasmic anchor for the γ-tubulin complex, was partially lost from the SPB region with dynamics similar to those observed for microtubules. We postulate that in cnm67Δ cells Spc72–γ-tubulin complex-capped astral microtubules are released from the half-bridge upon SPB separation but fail to be anchored to the cytoplasmic side of the SPB because of the absence of an outer plaque. However, successful nuclear segregation in cnm67Δ cells can still be achieved by elongation forces of spindles that were correctly oriented before astral microtubule detachment by action of Kip3/Kar3 motors. Interestingly, the first nuclear segregation in newborn diploid cells never fails, even though astral microtubule detachment occurs.
PMCID: PMC14841  PMID: 10749924

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