Effect of nutrient availability on hyphal maturation and topographical sensing in Aspergillus niger

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    Abstract

    Topographical sensing (thigmotropism) is an essential component of efficient fungal growth. It is an important element in the complex pathway of sensory and mechanical elements that drive and control the growing hyphal tip, a fuller understanding of which will bring the mycological community a step closer to complete comprehension of the hyphal growth mode. Previous work has led us to hypothesize that the stress induced by nutrient deficiency causes structural changes in the hyphal tip that induces a thigmotropic response in Aspergillus niger, a soil fungus that does not display thigmotropism under normal conditions. In this study, we have sought to identify some of the factors that influence this induction of thigmotropism using a novel combination of microengineered substrates and imaging and analysis techniques to quantify thigmotropic behavior in complex hyphal systems. We have shown that the sensitivity of fungal contour sensing appears to be directly linked to nutrient availability and hypothesize that this may be caused by a stress-induced flattening of the tip and increased immaturity of the hyphal apex.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-151
    Number of pages7
    JournalMycoscience
    Volume48
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Hyphal growth
    • Nutrient availability
    • Aspergillus niger
    • Thigmotropism

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