Diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains starved for nitrogen undergo a developmental transition from growth as single yeast form (YF) cells to a multicellular form consisting of filaments of pseudohyphal (PH) cells. Filamentous growth is regulated by an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that includes the small GTP-binding proteins Ras2p and Cdc42p, the protein kinases Ste20p, Ste11p and Ste7p, and the transcription factor Ste12p. Here, we designed a genetic screen for mutant strains defective for filamentous growth (dfg) to identify novel targets of the filamentation signaling pathway, and we thereby identified 16 different genes, CDC39, STE12, TEC1, WH13, NAB1, DBR1, CDC55, SRV2, TPM1, SPA2, BNI1, DFG5, DFG9, DFG10, BUD8 and DFG16, mutations that block filamentous growth. Phenotypic analysis of dfg mutant strains genetically dissects filamentous growth into the cellular processes of signal transduction, bud site selection, cell morphogenesis and invasive growth. Epistasis tests between dfg mutant alleles and dominant activated alleles of the RAS2 and STE11 genes, RAS2Val19 and STE11-4, respectively, identify putative targets for the filamentation signaling pathway. Several of the genes described here have homologues in filamentous fungi, where they also regulate fungal development.
- Received September 12, 1996.
- Accepted December 5, 1996.
- Copyright © 1997 by the Genetics Society of America