SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Summary

Filamentous fungi are ideal systems to study the process of polarized growth, as their life cycle is dominated by hyphal growth exclusively at the cell apex. The actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in this growth. Until now, there have been no tools to visualize actin or the actin-binding protein fimbrin in live cells of a filamentous fungus. We investigated the roles of actin (ActA) and fimbrin (FimA) in hyphal growth in Aspergillus nidulans. We examined the localization of ActA::GFP and FimA::GFP in live cells, and each displayed a similar localization pattern. In actively growing hyphae, cortical ActA::GFP and FimA::GFP patches were highly mobile throughout the hypha and were concentrated near hyphal apices. A patch-depleted zone occupied the apical 0.5 μm of growing hypha. Both FimA::GFP and Act::GFP also localize transiently to septa. Movement and later localization of both was compromised after cytochalasin treatment. Disruption of fimA resulted in delayed polarity establishment during conidium germination, abnormal hyphal growth and endocytosis defects in apolar cells. Endocytosis was severely impaired in apolar fimA disruption cells. Our data support a novel apical recycling model which indicates a critical role for actin patch-mediated endocytosis to maintain polarized growth at the apex.