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Micron. 2007;38(6):626-31. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Ultrastructure of spined conidia and hyphae of the rice false smut fungus Ustilaginoidea virens.

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National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea.


Spined conidia and hyphae of Ustilaginoidea virens were examined by light and electron microscopy. Bright-field light microscopy showed that conidia were round to elliptical and warty on the surface with diameters approximately ranging from 3 to 5 microm. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the globose to irregularly rounded and ornamented conidia with prominent spines. The spines were pointed at the apex or irregularly curved, and approximately 200-500 nm long. Ultrastructure of spined conidia and hyphae revealed by transmission electron microscopy showed lipid globules and vacuoles in the cytoplasm enclosed by an electron-transparent cell wall. Conspicuous electron-dense spines were evident on the surface of conidia, and had obclavate or irregularly protruding shapes with varying heights along the conidial cell wall. Microfibrillar structures with stretching or branching patterns were evident in the spine matrix. Some conidia were interconnected by spines from the neighboring conidia by their extended outgrowth. Hyphae had concentric bodies that showed an electron-transparent core surrounded by an electron-dense layer. One or more intrahyphal hyphae were found in hyphal cytoplasm. The fungus is thought to form concentric bodies and intrahyphal hyphae as survival mechanisms against the water- and nutrient-deficient environments that may occur in the necrotic regions of host plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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