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Microbiology. 2007 Feb;153(Pt 2):593-600.

Concerted responses between the chitin-binding protein secreting Streptomyces olivaceoviridis and Aspergillus proliferans.

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  • 1FB Biologie/Chemie, Universität Osnabrück, Barbarastr. 13, D-49069 Osnabrück, Germany.


Streptomycetes belong to the ecologically important bacterial population within soil, which is also inhabited by many fungi. The highly chitinolytic Streptomyces olivaceoviridis and the ascomycete Aspergillus proliferans were chosen as models to test for interactions among bacteria and fungi. In medium lacking a soluble carbon source, individually cultivated spores of the bacterium S. olivaceoviridis and the fungus A. proliferans do not germinate. However, as shown by viability tests, cultivation of a mixture of both spore types provokes successive events: (i) stimulation of the germination of S. olivaceoviridis spores, (ii) initiation of the outgrowth of some fungal spores to which the S. olivaceoviridis chitinase ChiO1 adheres, (iii) massive extension of viable networks of S. olivaceoviridis hyphae at the expense of fungal hyphae and (iv) balanced proliferation of closely interacting fungal and S. olivaceoviridis hyphae. The replacement of the S. olivaceoviridis wild-type strain by a chromosomal disruption mutant (DeltaC), lacking production of the extracellular chitin-binding protein CHB1 but still secreting the chitinase ChiO1, provokes (v) germination of each spore type, (vi) retarded development of both partners, followed by (vii) preferential proliferation of the fungus. Together with biochemical and immunomicroscopy studies, the data support the conclusion that CHB1 molecules aggregate to an extracellular matrix, maintaining a close contact, followed by several concerted responses of the bacterium and the fungus.

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