Zinc ions alter morphology and chitin deposition in an ericoid fungus
AbstractA sterile mycelium PS IV, an ascomycete capable of establishing ericoid mycorrhizas, was used to investigate how zinc ions affect the cellular mechanisms of fungal growth. Asignificant reduction of the fungal biomass was observed in the presence of millimolar zinc concentrations; this mirrored conspicuous changes in hyphal morphology which led to apical swellings and increased branching in the subapical parts. Specific probes for fluorescence and electron microscopy localised chitin, the main cell wall polysaccharide, on the inner part of the fungal wall and on septa in control specimens. In Zn-treated mycelium, hyphal walls were thicker and a more intense chitin labelling was detected on the transverse walls. Aquantitative assay showed a significant increase in the amount of chitin in metal- treated hyphae.
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Copyright (c) 2010 L. Lanfranco, R. Balsamo, E. Martino, S. Perotto, P. Bonfante
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