• 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.
    • The effect of gregarine parasite infections, age, and diet on calling song structure and mating behaviour in the Texas field cricket, Gryllus integer

      Proctor, Leslie Elizabeth.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1994-07-09)
      In the past ten years, many researchers have focussed their attention on parasites regarding the role they may play in causing variations in male secondary sexual traits and subsequent effects on female choice. Male age has also been suggested to be an important factor in female choice if old age reflects superior genes. This study investigated the effects that gregarine gut parasites, age, and diet have on the calling and mating behaviour of the male Texas field cricket, Gryllus integer. Male calling songs were recorded in the laboratory using a Digital Signal Processing Network. The song parameters measured were: pulse rate, pulse width, burst duration, pulses per burst, interburst interval, and percent missing pulses. The effects of parasite load and age on the various calling song parameters was investigated in crickets that were fed two different diets varying in nutritional quality. None of the calling song parameters were affected by either parasite load or age in either diet grou p. Courtship behaviour was ob served and recorded using an Eventlog recorder on an IBM computer in the laboratory. Females mated equally with paras(tized and unparasitized males and with old and young males The total duration and proportion of time spent performing each of 9 courtship displays were recorded for males on each diet. Only one display was affected by parasite load. Highly parasitized males fed the nutritionally inferior diet juddered for a proportionately shorter time than males with low parasite loads. Also, older males performed juddering and shaking antennae proportionally longer and juddering and raising wings for longer durations than younger males. Males that successfully mated were observed for performance of 8 post-copulatory guarding behaviour displays. None of the guarding behaviours were affected by parasite load. However, one display was affected by age, with older males performing guard turning for shorter durations than younger males. Results are discuss,ed in terms of the influence of parasites and age on female choice.
    • 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.
    • An investigative study on the effects of black fly (diptera: simuliidae) sugar meals on reproductive success and parasite transmission /

      Hazzard, Christie-Lee.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-05-21)
      Black flies are opportunistic sugar-feeders. They take sugar meals from Homopteran honeydew secretions or plant nectars, depending on availability. Homopteran honeydew secretions contain both simple and complex carbohydrates while plant nectars contain primarily simple carbohydrates. In order to determine whether honeydew secretions offer more energy than plant nectars to their insect visitors a study of wild-caught black flies was undertaken in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada during the spring of 1 998 and 1 999. It was hypothesized that female black flies maintained on honeydew sugars will survive longer, produce more eggs and have a greater parasite vectoring potential than those maintained on artificial nectar or distilled water. Results demonstrated that: (1) host-seeking female Prosimulimfuscum/mixtum and Simulium venustum maintained on artificial honeydew did not survive longer than those maintained on artificial nectar when fed ad libitum; (2) fiiUy engorged S. venustum and Simulium rugglesi maintained on artificial honeydew did not produce more eggs than those maintained on artificial nectar when fed ad libitum; and (3) S. rugglesi did not have a greater vectoring potential of Leucocytozoon simondi when maintained on artificial honeydew as opposed to artificial nectar when fed ad libitum. However, all flies maintained on the two sugars (artificial honeydew and artificial nectar) survived longer, produce more eggs and had greater vectoring potential than those maintained on distilled water alone.
    • Involvement of fimbriae in host-mycoparasite recognition

      Rghei, Nezar A.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1991-07-09)
      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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.