The transition from the vegetative to the sexual cycle in filamentous ascomycetes is initiated with the formation of ascogonia. Here, we describe a novel type of sterile mutant from Sordaria macrospora with a defect in ascogonial septum formation. This mutant, named pro22, produces only small, defective protoperithecia and carries a point mutation in a gene encoding a protein that is highly conserved throughout eukaryotes. Sequence analyses revealed three putative transmembrane domains and a C-terminal domain of unknown function. Live-cell imaging showed that PRO22 is predominantly localized in the dynamic tubular and vesicular vacuolar network of the peripheral colony region close to growing hyphal tips and in ascogonia; it is absent from the large spherical vacuoles in the vegetative hyphae of the subperipheral region of the colony. This points to a specific role of PRO22 in the tubular and vesicular vacuolar network, and the loss of intercalary septation in ascogonia suggests that PRO22 functions during the initiation of sexual development.
|Number of pages||11|
|Early online date||15 Oct 2010|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2010|