, Volume 137, Issue 2-3, pp 109-124

Microtubules and the flagellar apparatus in zoospores and cysts of the fungusPhytophthora cinnamomi

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A correlated immunofluorescence and ultrastructural study of the microtubular cytoskeleton has been made in zoospores and young cysts ofPhytophthora cinnamomi. Labelling of microtubules using antibodies directed towards tubulin has revealed new details of the arrangement of the flagellar rootlets in these cells, and of the variability that occurs from cell to cell. Most of the variation exists at the distal ends of the rootlets, and may be correlated with differences in cell shape in these regions. The rootlets have the same right and left configuration in all zoospores. The arrangement of the rootlet microtubules at the anterior end of the zoospores raises the possibility that the microtubules on the left hand side of the groove may not comprise an independent rootlet which arises at the basal bodies.

The absolute configuration of the flagellar apparatus has been determined from ultrastructural observations of serial sections. In the vicinity of the basal bodies, there is little, if any, variation between individuals, and the structure of the flagellar apparatus is similar to that described for related species of fungi. Two ribbon-like coils surround the central pair of microtubules at the distal tip of the whiplash flagellum, and clusters of intramembranous particles, similar to ciliary plaques, have been found at the bases of both flagella. There are two arrays of microtubules associated with the nucleus in the zoospores. One array lies next to the outer surface of the nuclear envelope, and probably functions in the shaping and positioning of the apex of the nucleus. The nuclear pores in this region are aligned in rows alongside these microtubules. The second array is formed by kinetochore microtubules which extend into a collar-like arrangement of chromatin material around the narrow end of the (interphase) nucleus. During encystment, all flagellar rootlets are internalized when the flagella are detached at the terminal plate. The rootlets arrays are no longer recognizable 5–10 minutes after the commencement of encystment.