Strains of Aspergillus containing the benA22 mutation are resistant to benomyl for vegetative growth but do not produce conidia. To test whether conidiation involved an additional benomyl-sensitive tubulin (i.e., was mediated by a tubulin other than the tubulins coded for by the benA locus), a collection of mutants was produced that formed conidia in the presence of benomyl, i.e., were conidiation-resistant (CR-) mutants. We analyzed the tubulins of these CR- mutants using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and found that the mutants lacked one species of beta-tubulin (designated beta 3). We have examined two of these mutants in detail. In crosses with strains containing wild-type tubulins, we found that the absence of the beta 3-tubulin co-segregated perfectly with the CR- phenotype. In diploids containing both the benA22 and CR- mutations, we found that the CR- phenotype was recessive and that beta 3-tubulin was present on two-dimensional gels of tubulins prepared from these diploids. In another set of crosses, these two CR- strains and seven others were first made auxotrophic for uridine and then crossed against strains that had homologously integrated a plasmid containing an incomplete internal fragment of the beta 3-tubulin gene and the pyr4 gene of Neurospora crassa (which confers uridine prototrophy on transformants). If the CR- phenotype were produced by a mutation in a gene distinct from the structural gene for beta 3-tubulin (designated the tubC gene), then crossing over should have produced some CR+ segregants among the uridine auxotrophic progeny of the second cross. All of the uridine auxotrophs from this type of cross, however, showed the CR- phenotype, suggesting that the mutation in these strains is at or closely linked to the tubC locus. The most obvious explanation of these results is that beta 3-tubulin is ordinarily used during conidiation and the presence of this species of beta-tubulin renders conidiation sensitive to benomyl. In the CR- mutants, beta 3-tubulin is absent, and in the presence of the benA22 mutation the benomyl-resistant beta 1-and/or beta 2-tubulin substitutes for beta 3 to make conidiation benomyl resistant. We discuss these results and give two models to explain the interactions between these beta-tubulin species.

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