Cytological characteristics of microconidia of Magnaporthe oryzae
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The inner cellular structure of microconidia of Magnaporthe oryzae was examined using fluorescent probes and electron microscopic techniques. The volume of the nucleus relative to the cell was significantly larger in microconidia than in macroconidia or vegetative hyphae, similar to observations for spermatia of other fungi. Selective fluorescent staining revealed that cytosolic RNA was less abundant in microconidia than in macroconidia and germ tubes, suggesting that general metabolic activity in microconidia is low. Consistently, GFP expression driven by the TrpC promoter was highly active during the formation of phialides and microconidia but gradually decreased as the microconidia matured. Such data suggest that microconidia are in a quiescent or dormant state.