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Fungal Genet Biol. 2010 Aug;47(8):707-12. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2010.04.006. Epub 2010 May 4.

Cell wall alpha1-3glucans induce the aggregation of germinating conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus.

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Unité des Aspergillus, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.


The germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can be divided into four stages: breaking of dormancy, isotropic swelling, establishment of cell polarity, and formation of a germ tube. Swelling of conidia is associated in liquid medium with a multi-cellular aggregation that produced large clumps of conidia. Conidial aggregation can be specifically prevented by the addition of alpha1-3glucanase. Swollen conidia specifically adhere to insoluble alpha1-3glucan chains. Electron microscopy studies showed that cell wall alpha1-3glucan chains became exposed at the cell surface during the swelling. These results demonstrate that cell wall alpha1-3glucans play an essential role in the aggregation between swollen conidia. Experiments with alpha1-3glucan coated latex beads show that alpha1-3glucan chains interacted between them without the requirement of any other cell wall component suggesting that biophysical properties of alpha1-3glucans are solely responsible for conidial aggregation.

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