• A comparative study of in vitro chitin synthase activity in mucoraceous hosts of a mycoparasite

      Begum, Almas.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1983-07-09)
      A comparative study of in vitro chitin synthase activity in mucoraceous hosts of a mycoparasite: Chitin synthase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of chitin in fungal cell wall was extracted from young hyphae of Choanephora cucurbitarum and Phascolomyces articulosus, susceptible and resistant hosts, respectively, to the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana. Crude enzyme was identified and characterized by measuring the incorporation of the substrate [14C]-UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, into chitin. Most activity occurred in mixed membrane fraction. Inhibition of activity with Polyoxin D and activation with proteases, N-acetyl-glucosamine and magnesium and other ions was observed. Properties of the crude enzyme preparation such as cofactor requirement, Vmax , apparent Km value for UDP-GlcNAc, inhibition by Polyoxin D, response to pH and to temperature, and stability at 4°C were determined. Enzyme activity from both fungi displayed basically the same features as the corresponding enzymes reported from other mucoraceous fungi. However, the two preparations from P. articulosus and C. cucurbitarum differed from each other in their expressed activity (i.e., the preparations from ~ articulosus exhibited higher latency and higher specific chitin synthase activity than the corresponding preparations from ~ cucurbitarum). Trypsin was effective in activation only over a narrow concentration range. Acid protease was the most effec.tive activator. En.dogenous protease estimation indicated higher protease activity in C. cucurbitarum than in P. articulosus. The suggestion is made that regulation of chitin synthase activities may be related to host resistance in the mycoparasitic system.
    • Host-parasite relations in a mycoparasitic system : alterations in membrane permeability and lipid composition in Choanephora cucurbitarum infected by Piptocephalis virginiana /

      Maharaj, Rajendranath P.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1980-06-15)
      examined in Choanephora cucurbita rum during the early stages of infection by Piptocephalis virginiana » There was a small but consistent increase in the leakage of electrolytes, amino acids and sugars as a result of infection. These low levels of differential leakage in infected tissues are explained on the basis of the nature of this obligate, biotrophic, mycoparasitic system. Quantitative analysis of the twenty six amino acids and amino compounds detected in the leacheates — showed similar profiles in infected and control host and no new species of amino acids or amino compounds were detected in either infected or control host leacheates. Comparatively high amounts of aspartic acid, glutamic acid and alanine were found in the leacheates of host and infected host . Analyses of the sugars comprising the leacheates of infected and control host showed the presence of eight sugars, among which glucose was found in significant amounts (50-53%) ' The nutritional implication of this preferential leakage is discussed. No significant difference was observed in the leacheates of infected host sugar profiles compared with that of the control host. Profiles of the internal pool sugars of infected and control host did not reflect that obtained from the leacheate data, perhaps owing to leakage of sugars in a selective manner . Membrane lipid analyses yielded higher levels of lipid in infected host compared with the control, both at the 24 h and 36 h analyses. In addition, preliminary investigations of phosphorous-32 incorporation and turnover in phospholipids showed higher levels of 32p incorporation and turnover in infected host compared with the control. No apparent difference was noted in the profiles of the neutral lipid classes and the polar lipid classes of the membrane lipids as determined by one and two dimensional thin-layer chromatography respectively. However, a small but consistently higher degree of unsaturation was detected in the fatty acids of infected tissue compared with the control. Also, '^''-^^''^^'-'-^'^^c acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid previously reported to show a direct correlation during the early stages of infection and the degree of parasitism of P. virginiana on C. cucurbitarum , was found in higher amounts in infected host membrane lipids compared with that of the control host. The implications of these membrane lipid alterations are discussed with particular reference to the small but consistently higher leakage of electrolytes, amino acids and sugars observed during infection in this study.
    • Immuno-cytochemical localization of glycoproteins involved in recognition and attachment in a mycoparatism

      Su, Longcheng.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1992-07-09)
      Polyclonal antibodies prepared against the two glycoproteins (Mr 100 and 85 kDa) involved in recognition and attachment of the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana, to its hosts, Mortierella pusilla and Phascolomyces articulosus, susceptible and resistant, respectively, were employed to localize the antigens at their cell surfaces. Indirect immunocytochemical technique using secondary antibodies labelled with either FITC or gold particles as probes, were used. FITC-Iabelled antibodies revealed a discontinous pattern of fluorescence on the hyphae of MortlerelLa pusilla and no fluorescence on the hyphae of Phascolomyces articulosus. Intensity of fluorescence was high in the germinating spores of both the fungi. Fluoresence could be observed on P. articulosus hyphae pretreated with a commercial proteinase. Fluorescence was not observed on either hyphae or germinating spores of the nonhost M0 r tie re11 a ca ndelabrum and the mycoparasite P. virginiana. Antibodies labelled with gold conjugate showed a different pattern of antigen localization on the hyphal walls of the susceptible and resistant hosts. Patches of gold particles were observed allover the whole cell wall of the susceptible host but only on the inner cell wall layer of the resistant host. Cell wall fragments of the susceptible host but not those of the resistant host, previously incubated with the antibodies inhibited attachment of the mycoparasite. Implications of preferential localization of the antigen in the resistant host and its absence in the nonhost are described.
    • Investigations on the host-parasite interface of a mycoparasite system /

      Letourneau, Denis Raymond.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-09-23)
      The cell wall composition of Choanephora cucur - bitarum and the host-parasite interface, after infection with Piptocephalis virginiana , were examined in detail. The cell walls of C_. cucurbitarum were determined to be composed of chitin (17%), chitosan (28.4%), neutral sugars (7.2%),uronic acid (2.4%), proteins (8.2%) and lipids (13.8%). The structure of hyphal walls investigated by electron microscopy of shadowed replicas before and after alkali-acid hydrolysis, showed two distinct regions: microfibrillar and amorphous. The microfibrils which were composed of mainly chitin, were organized into two distinct layers: an outer, thicker layer of randomly orientated microfibrils and an inner, thin layer of parallel microfibrils.Electronmicrographs of the host-parasite interface of C_. cucurbitarum and the mycoparasite , P_. virginiana , 30 h following inoculation, showed that the sheath zone has a similar electron density to that of the host cell wall. The sheath was not present around the young (18 h old) haustorium. High-resolution autoradiographs of infected host hyphae showed that radioactive N-acetyl-D-glucosamine , a precursor of chitin, was incorporated preferentially in the host cell wall and sheath zone. Cell fractionation of label fed hyphae showed that 84% of the label was present in the cell wall and specifically in the chitin portion of the wall. The antifungal antibiotic, Polyoxin D, a specific inhibitor of the enzyme, chitin synthetase, suppressed the incorporation of the label in the cell wall and sheath zone and resulted in a decrease in electron density of the developing sheath. The significance of these results is discussed in the light of host resistance.
    • Isolation and characterization of a chitinase-secreting mutant of mortierella pusilla with altered interaction with the mycoparasite piptocephalis virginiana

      Chen, Hanje.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      Mortierella pusilla is a susceptible host and supports good growth of the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana. Uninucleate spores of M. pusilla were sUbjected to N-methyl-N'-nitro-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). To attain a high mutation frequency , a 1o-minute exposure to 10 mg/ml MNNG was used and lead to the survival of about 10 % of the spores. The exposed spores then were plated on chitin or milk plates. Approximately 30,000 colonies were examined after mutagenesis on the screening media. A strain, MUT23 , with abnormal slow growth morphology was found to delay parasitism by £. virginiana. The particular morphology was not due to auxotrophy, because this strain displayed normal hyphae when glucose was used as the sole carbon source. One interesting phenomenon was that MUT23 showed an extensive clearing zone around the colony on colloidal chitin agar after 20-25 d. On the same conditions, wild type strain did not show this phenotype. In addition, the MUT23 strain produced the same normal hypha as the wild type strain when it was grown on colloidal chitin agar. The MUT23 was also able to produce more spores on colloidal chitin agar than on malt-yeast extract and minimal media. The parasite germ tubes formed appressoria at the point of contact on the cell surface of wild type and MUT23 grown for 6 days cell surface but not on the cel surface of MUT23 grown for 2 days. Thus, interaction between MUT23 strain and the mycoparasite was dependent on MUT23 age. The effect of MUT23 filtrate on germination of the parasite was tested. Lysis of germinated spores of the parasite were observed in concentrated MUT23 filtered solution. MUT23 was compared to the wild type strain for their chitinase production in sUbmerged culture. The chitinase isozymes of both wild type and MUT23 were shown by immunoblotting. Eight distinct chitinase molecules were detected. MUT23 showed markedly higher chitinase activity than the wild type cultured in chitin-containing medium. Maximum chitinase activities of MUT23 were 13.5 fold higher at 20 day of the culture then that of wild type.
    • Isolation and partial characterization of a complementary protein from the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana, which specifically binds to two glycoproteins b and c of the host cell surface

      Xiong, Dong.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      Presence of surface glycoprotein in Piptocephalis virginiana that recognizes the host glycoproteins band c, reported earlier from our laboratory, was detected by immunofluorescence microscopy. Germinated spores of P. virginiana treated with Mortierella pusilla cell wall protein extract, primary antibodies prepared against glycoproteins band c and FITC-goat anti-rabbit IgG conjugate showed fluorescence. This indicated that on the surfaces of the biotrophic mycoparasite P. virginiana , there might be a complementary molecule which recognizes the glycoproteins band c from M. pusilla. Immunobinding analysis identified a glycoprotein of Mr 100 kDa from the mycoparasite which binds with the host glycoproteins band c, separately as well as collectively. Purification of this glycoprotein was achieved by (i) 60% ammonium sulfate precipitation, (ii) followed by heat treatment, and (iii) Sephadex G-IOO gel filtration. The glycoprotein was isolated by preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis by cutting and elution. The purity of the protein ·was ascertained by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Positive reaction to periodic acid-Schiff reagent revealed the glycoprotein nature of this 100 kDa protein. Mannose was identified as a major sugar component of this glycoprotein by using a BoehringerMannheim Glycan Differentiation Kit. Electrophoretically purified glycoprotein was used to raIse polyclonal antibody in rabbit. The specificity of the antibody was determined by dot-immunobinding test and western-blot analysis. Immunofluorescence mIcroscopy revealed surface localization of the protein on the germ tube of Piptocephalis virginiana. Fluorescence was also observed at the surfaceJ of the germinated spores and hyphae of the host, M. pusilla after treatment with complementary protein from P. virginiana, primary antibody prepared against the complementary protein and FITC-goat anti-rabbit IgG conjugate.
    • Isolation and partial characterization of host cell wall surface glycoproteins: their involvement in agglutination, attachment and appressorium formation by piptocephalis virginiana

      Chʻen, Yung-chung.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1989-07-09)
      Cell surface proteins obtained by alkaline extraction from isolated cell walls of Mortierella pusilla and M. candelabrum, host and nonhost, respectively, to the mycoparasite, Piptocephalis virginiana, were tested for their ability to agglutinate mycoparasite spores. The host cell wall protein extract had a high agglutinating activity (788 a.u. mg- t ) as compared with the nonhost extract (21 a.li. mg- t ). SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the cell wall proteins revealed four protein bands, a, b, c, and d (Mr 117, 100, 85 and 64 kd, respectively) at the host surface, but not at the nonhost surface, except for the faint band c. Deletion of proteins b or c from the host cell wall protein extract significantly reduced its agglutinating activity. Proteins band c, obtained as purified preparations by a series of procedures, were shown to be two glycoproteins. Carbohydrate analysis by gas chromatography demonstrated that glucose and Nacetylglucosamine were the major carbohydrate components of the glycoproteins. It was further shown that the agglutinating activity of the pure preparation containing both band c was 500-850 times that of the single glycoproteins, suggesting the involvement of both glycoproteins in agglutination. The results suggest that the glycoproteins band c are the two subunits of agglutinin present at the host cell surface. The two glycoproteins band c purified from the host cell wall protein extract were further examined after various treatments for their possible role in agglutination, attachment and appressorium formation by the mycoparasite. Results obtained by agglutination and attachment tests showed: (1) the two glycoprotein-s are not only an agglutinin responsible for the mycoparasite spore agglutination, but may also serve as a receptor for the specific recognition, attachment and appressorium formation by the mycoparasite; (2) treatment of the rnycoparasite spores with various sugars revealed that arabinose, glucose and N-acetylglucosamine inhibited the agglutination and attachment activity of the glycoproteins, however, the relative percentage of appressorium formation was not affected by the above sugars; (3) the two glycoproteins are relatively stable with respect to their agglutinin and receptor functions. The present results suggest that the agglutination and attachment may be mediated directly by certain sugars present at the host and mycoparasite cell surfaces while the appressorlum formation may be the response of complementary combinations of both sugar and protein, the two parts of the glycoproteins at the interacting surfaces of two fungi.
    • Light and electron microscope studies of host-parasite relations in a mycoparasite

      Golesorkhi, Roya.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1981-07-09)
      Light microscope studies of the mycoparasite Piptocephalis virginiana revealed that the cylindrical spores of the parasite became spherical upon germination and produced 1-4 germ tubes. Generally t"l.vO germ tubes were produced by each spore. When this parasite was inoculated on its potential hosts, Choanephora cucurbitarum and Phascolomyces articulosus, the germ tube nearest to the host hypha continued to grow and made contact with the host hypha. The tip of the parasite's germ tube became swollen to form a distinct appressorium. Up to this stage the behavior of the parasite was similar regardless of the nature of the host. In the compatible host-parasite combination, the parasite penetrated the host, established a nutritional relationship and continued to grow to cover the host completely with its buff colored spores in 3-4 days. In the incompatible host-parasite combination, the parasite penetrated the host but its further advance was arrested. As a result of failure to establish a nutritional relationship with the resistant host, the parasite made further attempts to penetrate the host at different sites producing multiple infections. In the absence of nutrition the parasite weakened and the host outgrew the parasite completely. In the presence of a non-host species, Linderina pennispora the parasite continued to grow across the non-host 1).yp_hae vlithout establishing an initial contact. Germination studies showed that the parasite germinated equally well in the presence of host and non-host species. Further electron microscope studies revealed that the host-parasite interaction between P. virginiana and its host, C. cucurbi tarum, was compatible when the host hyphae were young slender, with a thin cell wall of one layer. The parasite appeared to penetrate mechanically by pushing the host-cell wall inward. The host plasma membrane invaginated along the involuted cell wall. The older hyphae of C. cucurbitarum possessed two distinct layers of cell wall and-showed an incompatible interaction when challenged vlith the parasite. At the point of contact, the outer layer of the host-cell wall dissolved, probably by enzymatic digestion, and the inner layer became thickened and developed a papilla as a result of its response to the parasite. The haustoria of the parasite in the old hyphae were always surrounded by a thick, well developed sheath, whereas the haustoria of the same age in the young host mycelium were devoid of a sheath during early stages of infection. Instead, they were in direct contact with the host protoplast. The incompatible interaction between a resistant host, P. articulosus and the parasite showed similar results as with the old hyphae of C. cucurbitarum. The cell wall of P. articulosus appeared thick-with two or more layers even in the 18-22 h-old hyphae. No contact or interaction was established between the parasite and the non-host L. pennispora. The role of cell wall in the resistance mechanism is discussed.
    • Meloidogne incognita (nematode) parasitism of Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) plants : Ethylene action in susceptible and resistant host responses

      Akitt, David Baxter.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      Involvement of ethylene in the etiology of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) infected with the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) was investigated. Endogenous root concentrations of ethylene were not significantly different in uninfected resistant var. Anahu and susceptible var. Vendor plants. Exposure of resistant plants to high doses of infectious nematode larvae did not affect root ethylene concentrations during the subsequent 30 day period. The possibility that ethylene may be involved in the mechanism of resistance is therefore not supported by these experiments. In no experiments did ethylene concentrations in roots of susceptible plants increase significantly subsequent to ~ incognita infestation. This result is not consistent with the hypothesis in the literature which suggests that increased ethylene production accompanies gall formation. Growth of susceptible tomato plants was affected by ~ incognita infestation such that root weights increased (due to galling), stem heights decreased and top weights increased. The possibility that alterations in stem growth resulted from increased production of 'stress' ethylene is discussed. Growth of resistant plants was unaffected by exposure to high doses of ~ incognita and galls were never detected on the roots of these plants. Root ethane concentrations generally varied in parallel with root ethylene concentrations although ethane concentrations were without exception greater. In 4 of 6 experiments conducted ethane/ethylene ratios increased significantly with time. These results are discussed in the light of published data on the relationship between ethane and ethylene synthesis. The term infested is used throughout this thesis in reference to plants whose root systems had been exposed to nematodes and does not distinguish between the susceptible and resistant response.
    • Mermithid (nematoa: mermithidae) infections of black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) : seasonal variation and developmental characteristics /

      Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      Mermithid nematodes (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitize larval, pupal and adult black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae), oftentimes resulting in partial or complete host feminization. This study was designed to characterize parasite-host seasonal variation and to estabUsh the developmental life stage at which feminization is initiated. Data indicate that the total adult population of black flies collected from Algonquin Provincial Park throughout the spring of 2004 was comprised of 31.8% female, 67.8% male and 0.4% intersex individuals. Of the total population, 0.6% was infected by mermithid nematodes (69.0% female, 3.5% male and 27.6% intersex). Seasonal infection trends established over a 12-month period revealed that black flies with different life histories host the same mermithid subfamilies, while black flies with similar life histories host mermithids from different subfamilies. If a simuliid species simultaneously hosts two mermithid species, these parasites are from different subfamilies. Molecular mermithid identification revealed two mermithid subfamilies, Me.somermithinae and Gastromermithinae, present in the simuliid hosts. Mermithid colour variation was not found to be a reliable species indicator. The developmental stage at which feminization is initiated was determined by examining gonad morphology and meiotic chromosomal condition. Results indicate that mermithid-infected black flies exhibit feminization prior to larval histoblast formation. Larvae can be morphologically male (testes present) or female (ovaries present), with morphological males exhibiting either male (achiasmate) or female (chiasmate) meiotic chromosomes; morphological females were only genetically female. Additionally, mermithid infection inhibits simuliid gonad development.
    • Probing cell surfaces of host and nonhost species of a mycoparasite, using FITC-labeled lectins

      Rao, D. Nina S.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1990-07-09)
      Cell surfaces of susceptible host species (Mortierella pusllla and Cboanepilora cucurbitarum ), resistant host (Pilascolomyces articulosus ), nonhost (Mortierella candelabrum ) and the mycoparasite (Piptocepilalis virginiana) were examined for sugar distribution patterns using light and fluorescent microscopy techniques. The susceptible host, resistant host and the mycoparasite species exhibited a similar sugar distribution profile; they all showed N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucose on their cell wall surfaces. The nonhost cell wall surface showed a positive binding reaction to FITClectins specific for N-acetyl glucosamine and also for OI.-fucose, N-acetyl galactosamine and galactose. Treatment of these fungi with mild concentrations of proteinases (both commercial as well as the mycoparasiteproteinase) resulted in the revelation of additional sugars on the fungal cell walls. The susceptible host treated with proteinase expressed higher levels of N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucose. The susceptible host also showed the presence of OI.-fucose, N-acetyl galactosamine and galactose. The proteinasetreated susceptible host cell walls also showed an increase in the levels of attachment with the mycoparasite. Treatment of the resistant host with proteinases revealed OI.-fucose in addition to N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucose. Treatment of the nonhost cell wall with proteinase resulted in the exposure of low levels of D-glucose, in addition to sugars found on the untreated nonhost cell wall surface. The mycoparasite treated with proteinase revealed OI.-fucose, N-acetyl galactosamine and galactose on its cell surface in addition to the sugars N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucose. Protoplasts were isolated from hosts and nonhost fungi and their surfaces were examined for sugar distribution patterns. The susceptible host and nonhost protoplast membranes showed all the sugars (N-acetyl glucosamine, D-glucose, (It.-fucose, N-acetyl galactosamine and galactose) tested for. The resistant host protoplast membrane however, had only N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucose exposed. This sugar distribution profile resembles that exhibited by the untreated resistant host cell wall, as well as that shown by the untreated mycoparasite cell surface. Only susceptible host protoplasts were successful in attaching to the mycoparasite surface. Resistant host protoplasts did not show any interaction with the i mycoparasite cell surface. Both susceptible as well as resistant host protoplasts were incapable of attaching to agarose beads surface-coated with specific carbohydrates. The mycoparasite however, did attach to agarose beads surface-coated with either N-acetyl glucosamine, D-glucose/Dmannose or o:,- methyl-D-mannose. The relevance of the cell wall and the protoplast membrane in the light of the present results, in reacting appropriately to bring about either a susceptible, a resistant or a nonhost response has been discussed.