Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 72–77 | Cite as

Chitosome-like vesicles from gamma particles of Blastocladiella emersonii synthesize chitin

  • Gary L. Mills
  • Edward C. Cantino


When gamma particles isolated from the aquatic fungus, Blastocladiella emersonii, were incubated in a supernatant derived from a homogenate of zoospores previously triggered to encyst with 50 mM KCl, they exhibited a three-fold increase in chitin synthetase activity and produced chitosome-like vesicles. Passage of such vesicles through a linear sucrose gradient resulted in a symmetrical distribution of chitin synthetase activity over a broad portion of the gradient, and the specific activity of the peak fraction was seven times greater than that of the gamma particles. After isopycnic sucrose gradient centrifugation, chitin synthetase activity occurred in a band of particles with a peak buoyant density of 1.18 g/cm3. Ultrastructural examination of negatively stained samples from the peak fraction revealed spheroidal, chitosome-like particles 70–120 nm in diameter. Suspension of these particles produced chitin microfibrils when incubated with uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine, the substrate for chitin synthetase.

Key words

Blastocladiella emersonii Chitin synthesis Chitin microfibrils Vesicles Chitosomes Gamma particles Zoospores 

Non Standard Abbreviations Used




uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine

PYG agar

1.25 g of peptone, 1.25 g of yeast extract, 3 g of glucose, and 20 of agar per 1000 ml of water, the pH being adjusted to 6.8 with KOH after autoclaving


ethyleneglycol-bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N′-tetraacetic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary L. Mills
    • 1
  • Edward C. Cantino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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