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Penicillium roqueforti conidia induced by L-amino acids can germinate without detectable swelling


Penicillium roqueforti is used for the production of blue-veined cheeses but is a spoilage fungus as well. It reproduces asexually by forming conidia. Germination of these spores can start the spoilage process of food. Germination is typically characterized by the processes of activation, swelling and germ tube formation. Here, we studied nutrient requirements for germination of P. roqueforti conidia. To this end, > 300 conidia per condition were monitored in time using an oCelloScope imager and an asymmetric model was used to describe the germination process. Spores were incubated for 72 h in NaNO3, Na2HPO4/NaH2PO4, MgSO4 and KCl with 10 mM glucose or 10 mM of 1 out of the 20 proteogenic amino acids. In the case of glucose, the maximum number of spores (Pmax) that had formed germ tubes was 12.7%, while time needed to reach 0.5 Pmax (τ) was about 14 h. Arginine and alanine were the most inducing amino acids with a Pmax of germ tube formation of 21% and 13%, respectively, and a τ of up to 33.5 h. Contrary to the typical stages of germination of fungal conidia, data show that P. roqueforti conidia can start forming germ tubes without a detectable swelling stage.

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This work was financed by TiFN, a public–private partnership on precompetitive research in food and nutrition(Project AF-15507). The funding organization had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by MP. MP and HW wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Han A. B. Wösten.

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Punt, M., Teertstra, W.R. & Wösten, H.A.B. Penicillium roqueforti conidia induced by L-amino acids can germinate without detectable swelling. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 115, 103–110 (2022).

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