Coronin plays a major role in the organization and dynamics of actin in yeast. To investigate the role of coronin in a filamentous fungus (Neurospora crassa), we examined its subcellular localization using fluorescent proteins and the phenotypic consequences of coronin gene (crn-1) deletion in hyphal morphogenesis, Spitzenkörper behavior and endocytosis. Coronin-GFP was localized in patches, forming a subapical collar near the hyphal apex; significantly, it was absent from the apex. The subapical patches of coronin colocalized with fimbrin, Arp2/3 complex, and actin, altogether comprising the endocytic collar. Deletion of crn-1 resulted in reduced hyphal growth rates, distorted hyphal morphology, uneven wall thickness, and delayed establishment of polarity during germination; it also affected growth directionality and increased branching. The Spitzenkörper of Δcrn-1 mutant was unstable; it appeared and disappeared intermittently giving rise to periods of hyphoid-like and isotropic growth respectively. Uptake of FM4-64 in Δcrn-1 mutant indicated a partial disruption in endocytosis. These observations underscore coronin as an important component of F-actin remodeling in N. crassa. Although coronin is not essential in this fungus, its deletion influenced negatively the operation of the actin cytoskeleton involved in the orderly deployment of the apical growth apparatus, thus preventing normal hyphal growth and morphogenesis.
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