The A. nidulans THS30 (pyrG89; AfupyrG+; pyroA4; pyroA+) as reference strain and TNJ92 (pyrG89; AfupyrG+; pyroA4; ΔatfA::pyroA) as a ΔatfA gene deletion mutant [23] were used in this study. Strains were maintained on Barratt’s minimal medium agar plates at 37 °C [26]. Conidia freshly collected from 6 d cultures were used for inoculation in all experiments.

For submerged cultivation, 100 mL Barratt’s minimal broth (in 500 mL Erlenmeyer flasks) was inoculated with 100 × 106 conidia and was incubated at 37 °C and at 3.7 Hz shaking frequency for 16.5–26 h. Before stress treatment (0.2 mM CdCl2, at 16 h) the biomass of cultures were set to equal levels as described earlier [23].

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