• The effects of cultural conditions and parasitism on the lipid composition of choanephora cucubitarum (Berk. Rav.) thaxter /|nJohn M. Deven. -- 260 St. Catharines [Ont. : s. n.],

      Deven, John M.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1976-07-09)
      The fatty acid composition of the total, neutral, sterol, free fatty acid and polar-lipid fractions in the mycelium of Choanephora cucurbitarum was determined. The major fatty acids in all lipid fractions were palmitic, oleic, linoleic and y-linolenic acid. Different lipid fractions did not show any particular preference for any individual fatty acid; however, the degree of unsaturation was different in various lipid fractions. Addition of glutamic acid to the malt-yeast extract medium resulted in the biosynthesis of a number of long-chain fatty acids beyond y-linolenic acid. These fatty acids, e.g. C22~1' C24:0 and C26=Q were never observed to be present in the fungus when grown on a malt-yeast extract medium without glutamic acid. Furthermore, thin-layer chromatographic analysis showed a larger and denser spot of diphosphatidyl glycerol from the mycelium grown on the glutamic acid medium than from the control mycelium. Various cultural conditions such as temperature, age, pH, light and carbon:nitrogen ratio in the growth medium used in this study did not alter the qualitative profile of fatty acids normally present in the organism. Neither did these conditions stimulate the production of further long-chain fatty acids (C20 - C26) beyond y-linolenic acid as observed in growth media containing glutamic acid. These cultural conditions influenced the degree of unsaturation, this being due mainly to changes in the concentration of y-linolenic acid. The fatty acid pattern of the lipid fractions though the same qualitatively, differed quantitatively due to the variation in the y-linolenic acid content under different cultural conditions. The degree of unsaturation of various lipid fractions decreased with increases in temperature, light intensity and pH, but within each treatment the same pattern of decreasing degree of unsaturation with increasing age was observed. The cultural conditions, used in this study, are also known to influence the degree and rate of development of the parasite, Piptocephalis virginiana. A direct correlation was observed between the levels of y-linolenic acid in C. cucurbitarum during the early stages of growth (24 h) and the degree of parasitism of P. virginiana. The amount of y-linolenic acid present in the host mycelium was found to be unrelated to either the dry weight of the mycelium or to the total lipid contents. K. virginiana is confined to host species which produce y-linolenic acid in their mycelium. The lipid profile of the host, C. cucurbitarum, did not show a significant qualitative or quantitative change in the lipid profile as a result of infection by the parasite, P. virginiana,e However, an increase in the total lipid was observed in the infected host mycelium. The significance of these results is discussed.