Highly polarized exocytosis of vesicles at hyphal apices is an essential requirement of tip growth. This requirement may be met by the localization and/or activation of an apical SNARE-based machinery. We have cloned nsyn1 and nsyn2, SNAREs predicted to function at the plasma membrane in Neurospora crassa. Transformation of extra copies of nsyn1 into wild-type strains displayed effects consistent with quelling of nsyn1 expression, which was lethal in most transformants. All surviving transformants grew slowly, conidiated poorly, and were male sterile. In addition, antisense nsyn1 strains grew slowly, with abnormal hyphal diameters and polarity and defective conidiation. For nsyn2, several repeat induced point mutation (RIP) crosses produced no, or poorly germinating ascospores. Those that germinated produced slow-growing hyphae with abnormal branching. The defects in nsyn1 and nsyn2 mutants are consistent with differential impaired vesicle fusion in hyphal tips and other developmental stages.
- hyphal tip growth
- SNARE proteins