The Paxillin-like protein AgPxl1 is required for apical branching and maximal hyphal growth in A.gossypii.
ABSTRACT The development from young, slowly growing hyphae to fast growing hyphae in filamentous fungi is referred to as hyphal maturation. We have identified the Paxillin-like protein AgPxl1 in Ashbyagossypii as a developmental protein that is specifically required for hyphal maturation. The early development of A.gossypii strains lacking AgPxl1 is indistinguishable from wild-type. However, at later developmental stages the maximal hyphal extension rate is less than half compared to wild-type and apical branching is affected. Apical branching is characterised as the symmetric division of fast growing hyphal tips resulting in two sister hyphae. In Agpxl1Delta strains two thirds of the apical branching events lead to asymmetric sister hyphae where growth of one branch is either completely aborted or slowed down while extension of the other branch is not affected. This suggests that AgPxl1 plays a role in the organisation of growth and efficient division of growth upon apical branching in mature mycelia. The conserved C-terminal LIM domains are necessary for AgPxl1 function and also contribute to tip localisation. AgCLA4, a PAK-like kinase, is epistatic to AgPXL1 and robust localisation of AgPxl1 depends on AgCla4. This suggests that AgCla4 acts upstream of AgPxl1.