The dimorphic switch from a single-cell budding yeast to a filamentous form enables Saccharomyces cerevisiae to forage for nutrients and the opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans to invade human tissues and evade the immune system. We constructed a genome-wide set of targeted deletion alleles and introduced them into a filamentous S. cerevisiae strain, Σ1278b. We identified genes involved in morphologically distinct forms of filamentation: haploid invasive growth, biofilm formation, and diploid pseudohyphal growth. Unique genes appear to underlie each program, but we also found core genes with general roles in filamentous growth, including MFG1 (YDL233w), whose product binds two morphogenetic transcription factors, Flo8 and Mss11, and functions as a critical transcriptional regulator of filamentous growth in both S. cerevisiae and C. albicans.
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