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Fungal Genet Biol. 2005 Apr;42(4):284-92.

Nitric oxide has a regulatory effect in the germination of conidia of Colletotrichum coccodes.

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Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5S 3B2.


Nitric oxide (NO) was first detected in mammals and has since been found in plants and in micro-organisms such as bacteria. NO is an important signalling molecule involved in a number of critical signal transduction pathways. To date, NO has not been directly detected in fungi, and little research on NO and fungi has been completed. Here, the role of NO in the germination of Colletotrichum coccodes conidia was investigated. Conidia were germinated on microscope slides, treated with chemicals to block NO, to add NO, and/or to detect NO, and assessed for their stage of development over 24 h. NO was detected in germinating conidia at all stages of development. Exogenous NO delayed germination, while treatment with NO inhibitors accelerated germination, suggesting NO may have a regulatory effect in germination. The differential effect of the various inhibitors suggests the fungal isoform of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) may be biochemically similar to mammalian constitutive NOS.

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