Aspergillus nidulans produces sterigmatocystin, a secondary metabolite mycotoxin, for the protection of its reproductive structures. Previous studies on grazing behavior of fungivore arthropods, regulation of sexual development, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis have revealed the association of sterigmatocystin biosynthesis with sexual reproduction, but the spatial distribution of sterigmatocystin producing hyphae within the colony has never been investigated. In this work, we aimed to locate the site of sterigmatocystin production within the colony by employing a yCFP reporter system. We demonstrated that the stcO promoter is active only in vegetative hyphae that surround groups of hülle cells and the activity decreases and eventually ceases as the distance between the hypha and the hülle cells increases. This phenomenon indicates that the vegetative mycelium might consist of morphologically uniform, but functionally different hyphae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology