Investigations on the host-parasite interface of a mycoparasite system /
Letourneau, Denis Raymond.
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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.