Characterization of rco-1 of Neurospora crassa, a pleiotropic gene affecting growth and development that encodes a homolog of Tup1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Carl T. Yamashiro, Daniel J. Ebbole, Bheong U.K. Lee, Rhett E. Brown, Catherine Bourland, Lea Madi, Charles Yanofsky

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62 Scopus citations


The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa undergoes a well-defined developmental program, conidiation, that culminates in the production of numerous asexual spores, conidia. Several cloned genes, including con-10, are expressed during conidiation but not during mycelial growth. Using a previously described selection strategy, we isolated mutants that express con-10 during mycelial growth. Selection was based on expression of an integrated DNA fragment containing the con-10 promoter-regulatory region followed by the initial segment of the con-10 open reading frame fused in frame with the bacterial hygromycin B phosphotransferase structural gene (con10'-'hph). Resistance to hygromycin results from mutational alterations that allow mycelial expression of the con-10'-'hph gene fusion. A set of drug-resistant mutants were isolated; several of these had abnormal conidiation phenotypes and were trans-acting, i.e., they allowed mycelial expression of the endogenous con-10 gene. Four of these had alterations at a single locus, designated rco-1 (regulation of conidiation). Strains with the rco-1 mutant alleles were aconidial, female sterile, had reduced growth rates, and formed hyphae that coiled in a counterclockwise direction, opposite that of the wild type. The four rco-1 mutants had distinct conidiation morphologies, suggesting that conidiation was blocked at different stages. Wild-type rco-1 was cloned by a novel procedure employing heterokaryon-assisted transformation and ligation-mediated PCR. The predicted RCO1 polypeptide is a homolog of Tup1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a multidomain protein that mediates transcriptional repression of genes concerned with a variety of processes. Like tup1 mutants, null mutants of rco-1 are viable and pleiotropic. A promoter element was identified that could be responsible for RCO1-mediated vegetative repression of con-10 and other conidiation genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6218-6228
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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