Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29997371
J Fungi (Basel). 2018 Jul 11;4(3). pii: E85.
Filamentous fungi frequently undergo bistable phenotypic switches. Crippled Growth of Podospora anserina is one such bistable switch, which seems to rely upon the mis-activation of a self-regulated PaMpk1 MAP kinase regulatory pathway. Here, we identify two new partners of this pathway: PaPro1, a transcription factor orthologous to Sordaria macrospora pro1 and Neurospora crassa ADV-1, and IDC4, a protein with an AIM24 domain. Both PaPro1 and IDC4 regulate stationary phase features, as described for the other actors of the PaMpk1 signaling pathway. However, PaPro1 is also involved in the control of fertilization by activating the transcription of the HMG8 and the mating type transcription factors, as well as the sexual pheromones and receptor genes. The roles of two components of the STRIPAK complex were also investigated by inactivating their encoding genes: PaPro22 and PaPro45. The mutants of these genes were found to have the same phenotypes as PaPro1 and IDC4 mutants as well as additional phenotypes including slow growth, abnormally shaped hyphae, pigment accumulation and blockage of the zygotic tissue development, indicating that the STRIPAK complex regulates, in addition to the PaMpk1 one, other pathways in P. anserina. Overall, the mutants of these four genes confirm the model by which Crippled Growth is due to the abnormal activation of the PaMpk1 MAP kinase cascade.