Adhesive knob formation by conidia of the nematophagous fungusDrechmeria coniospora
We studied conidiogenesis and adhesive knob formation (maturation) by newly developed conidia of the nematophagous fungusDrechmeria coniospora. Upon conidiogenesis on infected nematodes or during saprophytic growth of the fungus in axenic cultures compact clusters of conidia developed. Less than 10% of such clustered conidia matured; mature conidia were invariably located on the periphery of the clusters.
The kinetics and rate of maturation of conidia were studied inin vitro systems and in soil. In both cases adhesive knobs were formed; the rate at which knobs were formed appeared to be determined by the age of the conidia, the temperature and the soil moisture. In addition, knob formation was suppressed at increasing conidial densities. Under favorable conditions, however, over 90% of the conidia matured within a period of 3 days. The rate of knob formation was neither influenced by the presence of nematodes nor by that of exogenous nutrients, which suggests that maturation is an autonomous process. Electron-microscopical analysis indicated that budding of the conidia at the initial stage of maturation occurred simultaneously with the deposition of the sticky, adhesive layer around the wall of the developing knob.
The ecological significance of the time- and spatially separated maturation of conidia after conidiogenesis is discussed with respect to survival of the conidia.
Key wordsadhesive knobs conidiogenesis Drechmeria coniospora nematodes nematophagous fungi
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