Interactions of three sequentially expressed genes control temporal and spatial specificity in aspergillus development

Peter M. Mirabito, Thomas H. Adams, William E. Timberlake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Aspergillus nidulans brlA, abaA, and wetA form a dependent pathway that regulates asexual reproductive development. The order in which these genes are expressed determines the outcome of development. Expression of brlA in vegetative cells leads to activation of abaA and wetA, cessation of vegetative growth, cellular vacuolization, and spore formation. By contrast, expression of abaA in vegetative cells does not result in conidial differentiation but does lead to activation of brlA and wetA, cessation of vegetative growth, and accentuated cellular vacuolization. brlA, abaA, and wetA act individually and together to regulate their own expression and that of numerous other sporulation-specific genes. We propose that the central pathway controlling development is largely autoregulatory. The timing and extent of expression of the regulatory genes and their targets are determined as development proceeds by intrinsically controlled changes in the relative concentrations of regulatory gene products in the various conidiophore cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-868
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jesds Aguirre who designed and conducted preliminary experiments showing that br/A+ is required for maintenance of phialide function. We also thank Mary Case, Rich Meagher, Charles Mims, Larry Shimkets, Kathy Spindler, and our colleagues in the laboratory for their critical reviews of the manuscript. This research was sup ported by National Institutes of Health grant GM37886 lo W. E. T. P M. M. was supported in part by National Institutes of Health training grant 5T32-GMO7l03 to the Department of Genetics, UGA. This paper constitutes a portion of the requirements for completion of i? M. M,‘s Ph.D. degree.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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