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Microbiology. 2007 Oct;153(Pt 10):3448-57.

Surface characteristics of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria (Cordyceps) bassiana.

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Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Marked differences in surface characteristics were observed among three types of single-cell propagules produced by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed the presence of bundles or fascicles in aerial conidia absent from in vitro blastospores and submerged conidia. Contact angle measurements using polar and apolar test liquids placed on cell layers were used to calculate surface tension values and the free energies of interaction of the cell types with surfaces. These analyses indicated that the cell surfaces of aerial conidia were hydrophobic, whereas those of blastospores and submerged conidia were hydrophilic. Zeta potential determinations of the electrostatic charge distribution across the surface of the cells varied from +22 to -30 mV for 16-day aerial conidia at pH values ranging from 3 to 9, while the net surface charge ranged from +10 to -13 mV for submerged conidia, with much less variation observed for blastospores, +4 to -4 mV, over the same pH range. Measurements of hydrophobicity using microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons (MATH) indicated that the surfaces of aerial conidia were hydrophobic, and those of blastospores hydrophilic, whereas submerged conidia displayed cell surface characteristics on the borderline between hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Insect pathology assays using tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens) larvae revealed some variation in virulence among aerial conidia, in vitro blastospores and submerged conidia, using both topical application and haemocoel injection of the fungal cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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