Roles of Aspergillus nidulans Cdc42/Rho GTPase regulators in hyphal morphogenesis and development

Haoyu Si, William R. Rittenour, Steven D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Rho-related family of GTPases are pivotal regulators of morphogenetic processes in diverse eukaryotic organisms. In the filamentous fungi two related members of this family, Cdc42 and Rac1, perform particularly important roles in the establishment and maintenance of hyphal polarity. The activity of these GTPases is tightly controlled by two sets of regulators: guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Despite the importance of Cdc42 and Rac1 in polarized hyphal growth, the morphogenetic functions of their cognate GEFs and GAPs have not been widely characterized in filamentous fungi outside the Saccharomycotina. Here we present a functional analysis of the Aspergillus nidulans homologs of the yeast GEF Cdc24 and the yeast GAP Rga1. We show that Cdc24 is required for the establishment of hyphal polarity and localizes to hyphal tips. We also show that Rga1 is necessary for the suppression of branching in developing conidiophores. During asexual development Rga1 appears to act primarily via Cdc42 and in doing so serves as a critical determinant of conidiophore architecture. Our results provide new insight into the roles of Cdc42 during development in A. nidulans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-555
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Cdc24
  • Cdc42
  • Conidiophore development
  • Hyphal polarity
  • Rga1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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