Vienken et al. 2005

Genetics, 169(2):619-630

The Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factor RosA (repressor of sexual development) triggers early developmental decisions in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Genetics, 169(2):619-630.

Vienken, K., Scherer, M. & Fischer, R.



Here we have characterized the putative Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factor RosA from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. The rosA gene encodes a protein of 713 aa, which shares 38% sequence similarity to Pro1 from Sordaria macrospora. In contrast to Pro1, which promotes the transition from protoperithecia to perithecia, RosA is a negative regulator of sexual development in A. nidulans. Transcript levels of rosA were usually very low and were only transiently upregulated upon carbon starvation and at 12 hr of asexual development. Deletion of rosA only slightly induced fruiting-body formation under standard culture conditions, but enabled sexual development under low-glucose and high-osmolarity conditions and the production of Hulle cells under submersed growth conditions. Stimulation of fruiting-body formation on agar surfaces was dependent on veA. In delta rosA strains, transcript levels of the sexual developmental regulators nsdD, veA, and stuA were increased. Overexpression of rosA led to a reduction of hyphal growth and to a fluffy phenotype. Post-transcriptional regulation of RosA, with a regulated accumulation in the nucleus, was shown using a RosA-GFP fusion protein. We propose that RosA represses sexual development upon integration of several environmental signals.