Involvement of fimbriae in host-mycoparasite recognition
Rghei, Nezar A.
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Extracellular, non-flagellar appendages, termed fimbriae are widespread among fungi. Fungal fimbriae range in diameter from 6-10 nm and exhibit lengths of up to 30 ~m. Fungal fimbriae have been implicated in several functions: adhesion, conjugation and flocculation. A possible role of fimbriae in host-mycoparasite interactions was the focus of this study . Using electron microscopy, fimbriae were observed on the surfaces of Mortiere lla cande labrum, Mortie re lla pusi lla and Phascolomyces articulosus with diameter means of 9.1±0.4 nm, 9.4±0.5 nm and 8.6±0.6 nm, respectively, and lengths of up to 25 ~m. Fimbriae were not observed on the surface of the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana. Polyclonal antiserum (AU) prepared against the fimbrial protein of Ustilago violacea cross-reacted with 60 and 57 kDa M. candelabrum proteins. In addition, AU cross-reacted with 64 kDa proteins from both M. pusilla and P. articulosus. The proteins that cross-reacted with AU were electroeluted from polyacrylamide gels and were shown to subsequently form fibrils. The diameter means for the electroeluted fibrils were: for M. candelabrum 9.7±0.3 nm, M. pusilla 8.4±0.6 nm and P articulosus 9.2±0.5 nm. Finally, to ascertain the role of fimbriae in host-mycoparasite interactions, AU was incubated with P. virginiana and M. pusilla (mycoparasite/susceptible host) and with P. virginiana and P . articulosus (mycoparasite/ resistant host). It was observed that AU decreased significantly the level of contact between P. virginiana and M. pusilla and between P. virginiana and P. articulosus in comparison to prelmmune serum treatments. Thus, it was proposed that fimbriae might play recognition and attachment roles in early events of mycoparasitism.