Systematic analyses of gene expression in diverse organisms have relied on genetic fusions in which the regulated expression of the product of the Escherichia coli lacZ gene, ß-galactosidase, is used to assay gene activity. Because there are low but readily detectable levels of ß-galactosidase in Neurospora crassa (e.g. Landman, Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 52:93-109, 1954), the use of E. coli lacZ as a reporter gene in this organism has not been extensively investigated. Here we report that lacZ fusion proteins can be used to analyze the regulation of two N. crassa genes, arg-2 and con-10. The levels of ß-galactosidase produced by strains carrying the fused genes indicate that they are developmentally regulated in a manner similar to the intact genes (Davis, Microbiol. Rev. 50: 280-313, 1986; Orbach, Sachs, and Yanofsky, J. Biol. Chem. in press 1990; Roberts, Berlin, Hager and Yanofsky, Mol. Cell. Biol. 8:2411-2418, 1988; Sachs and Yanofsky, in preparation).

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