Aspergillus nidulans possesses threepmt genes encoding protein O-D-mannosyltransferases (Pmt). Previously, we reported that PmtA, a member of the PMT2 subfamily, is involved in the proper maintenance of fungal morphology and formation of conidia (T. Oka, T. Hamaguchi, Y. Sameshima, M. Goto, and K. Furukawa, Microbiology 150:1973-1982, 2004). In the present paper, we describe the characterization of the pmtA paralogues pmtB and pmtC. PmtB and PmtC were classified as members of the PMT1 and PMT4 subfamilies, respectively. A pmtB disruptant showed wild-type (wt) colony formation at 30°C but slightly repressed growth at 42°C. Conidiation of the pmtB disruptant was reduced to approximately 50% of that of the wt strain; in addition, hyperbranching of hyphae indicated that PmtB is involved in polarity maintenance. ApmtA and pmtB double disruptant was viable but very slow growing, with morphological characteristics that were cumulative with respect to either single disruptant. Of the three single pmt mutants, the pmtC disruptant showed the highest growth repression; the hyphae were swollen and frequently branched, and the ability to form conidia under normal growth conditions was lost. Recovery from the aberrant hyphal structures occurred in the presence of osmotic stabilizer, implying that PmtC is responsible for the maintenance of cell wall integrity. Osmotic stabilization at 42°C further enabled the pmtC disruptant to form conidiophores and conidia, but they were abnormal and much fewer than those of the wt strain. Apart from the different, abnormal phenotypes, the three pmt disruptants exhibited differences in their sensitivities to antifungal reagents, mannosylation activities, and glycoprotein profiles, indicating that PmtA, PmtB, and PmtC perform unique functions during cell growth.
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