, Volume 174, Issue 1–2, pp 62–68 | Cite as

Status of nuclear division in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi during in vitro development

  • G. Bécard
  • P. E. Pfeffer


The number of nuclei in spores and along hyphae of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungiGigaspora margarita was measured in digital images of fluorescence arising from mithramycin stained cultures. Typical dormant spores (250 μm diameter) contained 2000 nuclei. Eight hundred nuclei were mobilized during the first 3 days of germination. The number of nuclei in the spores nearly returned to the initial number after 22 days of hyphal growth. The average relative DNA content in the nuclei of dormant spores and in the nuclei of spores incubated for 22 days was comparable, as judged from fluorescence intensity. Hyphal elongation occurred with 460 nuclei per cm under a special set of in vitro conditions that promote extensive hyphal growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. We found an average total of 26000 hyphal nuclei per germinating spore after 22 days. The specific DNA polymerase α inhibitor aphidicolin did not inhibit spore germination but it rapidly reduced the rate of hyphal growth and arrested growth after 4 days. No nuclei were produced de novo during this time. These results demonstrate thatG. margarita replicates nuclear DNA and undergoes nuclear division when grown in vitro even in the absence of a plant host.


Charge-coupled device DNA fluorescence Gigaspora margarita Image processing In vitro culture Nuclear division 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Bécard
    • 1
  • P. E. Pfeffer
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceEastern Regional Research CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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