Attended to XII International Fungal Biology Conference
Incheon, South Korea

New publication in Mol Microbiol

Microtubule-organizing centers of Aspergillus nidulans are anchored at septa by a disordered protein.
Zhang Y, Gao X, Manck R, Schmid M, Osmani AH, Osmani SA, Takeshita N, Fischer R.

Commentary on newspaper Nikkei

Awarded Japan Society For Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi Award for Young Scientists

2017. 05
Press release of the new publication in PNAS.


201705New publication inPNAS.

Awarded JSBBA Award for Young Scientists
(日本農芸化学会奨励賞) 201703日本農芸化学会奨励賞




Mold is a microorganism that is widespread in the natural environment. Interestingly, by continuous growth of filamentous cells (mycelium), mold has developed into the largest creature identified on earth in Oregon, covering 965 hectares. Molds are believed to provide the largest variety and the largest volume of microbes in the soil. Fungi secrete a lot of enzymes and decompose organic matter during growth. This decomposer function is essential for materials circulation of ecosystem. For a long time, humans have made use of filamentous fungi in the production of fermented foods (sake, soy sauce, blue cheese, etc.) and, more recently, for the production of many useful enzymes and antibiotics in biotechnology. However, some fungal species can invade immunocompromised humans and agricultural crops, causing serious damage. Fungal pathogenicity is indeed a major problem in the medical and agricultural fields.

Our group analyzes the molecular mechanisms of mycelial elongation, the key process underlying both the usefulness and pathogenicity of mold. Filamentous fungi continuously extend the cell body at one end of their hyphae in a process called “tip growth”. Polar tip growth requires continuous transport of construction materials to and away from the hyphal tip. Proteins and other biomolecules are packaged in massive vesicles and transported over long distances by motor proteins along the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons.

Cell end marker

Why polarity?

Cell polarity is essential for the proper function of many cell types, because the cell function is optimized by the cell shape, and the cell shape is determined by the cell polarity. Filamentous fungi grow by tip-extension. The mode of growth depends on stable polarity at the hyphal tip. How is the polarity regulated in filamentous fungi?
Why do filamentous fungi grow filamentous?

Cell end marker

Cell end markes

We found landmark proteins named “cell end markers”, which control the polarity. The cell end markers, TeaA and TeaR, localize at hyphal tips interdependently. TeaA is delivered to hyphal tips by growing microtubules (MTs), anchored to the hyphal tip cortex though the interaction with TeaR, membrane associated TeaA receptor. TeaA at the tip indirectly interacts with the formin SepA which forms actin cables that are required for secretion vesicle transport and polarized growth. The teaA and teaR deletion mutants showed defects in polarity maintenance, which lead to curved or zig-zag growing hyphae. Thus TeaA transmits positional information regulated by MTs to the actin cytoskeleton at hyphal tips. The mechanism is required for the polarity maintenance and the growth direction of hyphae.

MT and plasma membrane

The interaction between MT plus end and the plasma membrane is important for the establishment and maintenance of polarity. MT plus-end localizing proteins (+TIPs) regulate MT plus-end dynamics. AlpA, a XMAP215 family protein and one of +TIPs, promotes MT growth and functions as MT polymerase. The functional connection between the cell end marker TeaA at the plasma membrane and AlpA at MT plus-ends is important for the proper regulation of MT growth at hyphal tips. In this way, we focus on the connection among MT plus ends, plasma membrane and actin cytoskeleton for polarized growth.

Cell end marker

Visualization of membrane domains by super-resolution microscopy

Apical sterol-rich membrane domains (SRDs) are gaining attention for their important roles in polarized growth of filamentous fungi, however their exact figure, roles and formation mechanisms remain rather unclear. We selected genes involved in membrane recycle, raft formation and lipid transport, etc. We are investigating their roles of on the formation and maintenance of SRD and their interplay with the cytoskeletons.
The SRDs are revealed to be a mixture of lipid raft and non-raft microdomains, however the size of rafts is ranging between 10 and 200 nm and is thus too small to detect by conventional light microscopy which has a resolution limit of 250 nm. In recent years, super-resolution microscope techniques have been improving and breaking the diffraction limit of conventional light microscopy. One of the techniques is photoactivation localization microscopy (PALM) using photoswitchable (or photoactivatable) fluorophores. The lateral image resolution as high as 20 nm which can be acquired via this method will be a powerful tool to investigate the relation of lipid membrane domains and protein localization in living cells deeply. Size, number, distribution and dynamics of membrane domains, and dynamics of single molecules are subjects of our research. Additionally we are investing the MT and actin cytoskeleton, and their relation with membrane domains.

Cell end marker



約40億年前に微生物が誕生しました。 現在、地球上に多くの多細胞生物が存在するのも、微生物が大きな地球環境の変動に適応し、進化と活動を続けてきた結果であると言えます。このような多様な微生物は地球上の至る所に存在し、我々の生活にも深く関与しています。我々の体内にいる微生物、食に関与する微生物、我々をとりまく様々な環境にいる微生物、それらが我々の健康や食料、そして地球環境に深く関与しています。近年、それら微生物のほとんどが多様な微生物の集団を形成し、相互作用を及ぼすことで、集団としてのさまざまな機能を発揮することが明らかになってきています。





(注1)世界最大の生き物は菌類; 1998年にアメリカ、オレゴン州の東部で発見されたキシメジ科のキノコ、オニナラタケ(Armillaria ostoyae)の菌床は、総面積8.9平方キロメートルに及び、推定重量はおよそ600t、推定年齢は約2400歳といわれています。キノコもカビの仲間で、土や木の中に菌糸を作り生長します。地表に出ている胞子を作る器官(子実体)が、キノコと呼ばれるものです。


Selected publications (Corresponding author *)


Complete publication list

Research Gate


  • Takeshita N, Fischer R.
    The cytoskeleton and cell-end markers during polarized growth of filamentous fungi.
    Mycota VII 3rd edition, Springer (2016)
  • Etxebeste O, Takeshita N.
    Advanced microscopy methods for the study of protein localization, interaction and dynamics in filamentous fungi.
    Advanced Microscopy in Mycology, Springer (2015)
  • Fischer R, Takeshita N, Doonan J.
    Cytoskeleton, Polarized Growth, and the Cell Cycle in Aspergillus nidulans.
    The Aspegilli: Genomics, Medical Applications, Biotechnology, and Research Methods (2007)


筑波大学へNorio Takeshita

Norio Takeshita PhD

University of Tsukuba
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences


2014.7 -
International Tenure Assistant Professor
University of Tsukuba
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences

2016.10 -
Group leader
JST ERATO Nomura project, Genome biochemistry group

2011.10 – 2016.9
Group leader
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Applied Bioscience, Dept. Microbiology

2008.4 - 2011.9
Research Associate
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Applied Bioscience, Dept. Microbiology

2006.4 - 2008.3
Postdoc fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
University of Karlsruhe
Applied Bioscience, Dept. Microbiology


2003.4 - 2006.3
The University of Tokyo
Graduate school of agricultural and life science, Dept. Biotechnology

2001.4 - 2003.3
The University of Tokyo
Graduate school of agricultural and life science, Dept. Biotechnology

1997.4 - 2001.3
The University of Tokyo, Faculty of agriculture, Dept. Biotechnology


DFG, Landesstiftung Baden Württemberg, Humboldt Society

Editorial board

Fungal Genetics Biology

Fungal Biology Biotechnology


2017. Japan Society For Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi Award for Young Scientists (糸状菌遺伝子研究会奨励賞)

2017. JSBBA Award for Young Scientists (日本農芸化学会奨励賞)

2012. Elite program member of Baden-Wurttemberg Foundation


2006 - 2008
Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

2004 - 2006
Research Fellowships of Japan Society for the Dissertation of Science (JSPS) for Young Scientists (DC2)

Oral presentation at international conference

2017, Aug XII International Fungal Biology Conference, Incheon, South Korea
2016, Apr 13th Europian Conference on Fungal Genetics, Paris, France
2016, Mar VAAM annual congress, Jena, Germany
2015, Oct Molecular Biology of Fungi, Berlin, Germany
2015, Sept Membrane Compartmentalization, Munster, Germany
2015, Mar 28th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, USA
2014, Mar 12th Europian Conference on Fungal Genetics, Seville, Spain
2013, Oct XI International Fungal Biology Conference, Karlsruhe, Germany
2013, Mar 27th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, USA
2012, Oct Eurofung meeting 2012, Berlin, Gemany
2012, May Workshop DFG-CONACyT Research Unit 1334, Mexico city, Mexico
2012, Mar 11th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, Marburg, Germany
2011, Mar 26th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, USA
2011, Sept VAAM Symposium, Molecular Biology of Fungi, Marburg, Germany
2009, Nov Eurofung meeting 2009, Wageningen, Netherlands
2009, Mar 25th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, USA
2008, Oct Eurofung meeting, San Feliu de Guixols, Spain
2008, Mar 9th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, Edinburgh, Scottland
2007, Sept VAAM Symposium, Molecular Biology of Fungi, Hamburg, Germany
2007, May Eurofung meeting 2007, Wageningen, Netherlands
2007, Mar 24th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, USA

Invited lecture

2017, Jul ITbM, Nagoya University
2016, Jan Agricultural and Life Science, The University of Tokyo
2015, Nov Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
2015, Oct Institute of Applied Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
2015, Sept Cell Networks-Cluster of Excellence and Centre, University of Heidelberg
2015, Jan Institute for Microbiology and Genetics, Georg August University of Goettingen
2014, Nov Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University
2014, Nov Faculty of Agriculture, Tohoku University
2014, Apr Kyoto Prefectural University
2014, Apr National Research Institute of Brewing
2013, Dec Bioagricultural and Life Sciences, Nagoya University
2013, Dec Agricultural and Life Science, The University of Tokyo
2013, Mar Stanford University School of Medicine
2013, Mar Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden


B4 Tomoko Serizawa s1410686[at] tip growth & calcium signal
B4 Momoka Kuchira s1410665[at] fungal-bacterial interaction



Norio Takeshita PhD

University of Tsukuba, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences,
Laboratory of Advanced Research A, 515
Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, 305-8572, Japan.
Tel: +81-29-853-7191