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Fungal Genet Biol. 2002 Dec;37(3):233-44.

Live-cell imaging of endocytosis during conidial germination in the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea.

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Fungal Cell Biology Group, Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, Rutherford Building, Edinburgh EH9 3JH, UK.


Although there is growing evidence that endocytosis is important in hyphal tip growth, it has not previously been shown to occur during fungal spore germination. We have analysed and characterized endocytosis during the germination of living conidia of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea. Conidia treated with the endocytic markers Lucifer Yellow carbohydrazide, FITC-dextran, and FM4-64 were imaged by confocal microscopy. Internalization of these fluorescent marker dyes by conidia was blocked by chemical and temperature treatments that inhibit endocytosis, and the sequential staining of organelles by the membrane-selective dye FM4-64 was consistent with dye internalization by endocytosis. FM4-64 uptake occurred within 2-3 min of conidial hydration, more than 40 min before the emergence of the germ tube. The times at which each of the three conidial cells initiated dye internalization were different as were the rates of dye uptake by each cell. Using these techniques we have demonstrated for the first time that ungerminated and germinated spores of filamentous fungi undergo endocytosis. Furthermore, internalization of FITC-dextran and Lucifer Yellow carbohydrazide by germinating conidia provides the first direct evidence for fluid-phase endocytosis in a filamentous fungus. FM4-64 was internalized by both ungerminated conidia and conidial germlings on the rice leaf suggesting that endocytosis might play a significant role in spore germination and germ tube growth during the pre-penetration phase of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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