Soft but Not Too Soft-How a Rigid Tube Expands without Breaking

mBio. 2021 Jun 15:e0050121. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00501-21. Online ahead of print.


Fungi grow by apical extension of their hyphae. The continuous growth requires constant delivery of vesicles, which fuse with the membrane and secrete cell wall biosynthesis enzymes. The growth mechanism requires the fungal cytoskeleton and turgor pressure. In a recent study by Fukuda et al. (mBio 12:e03196-20, 2021,, hyphal growth was studied in microfluidic devices with channels smaller than the hyphal diameter. The authors discovered that fast-growing fungi like Neurospora crassa enter the channels, but hyphal tips become fragile and rupture frequently, whereas slower-growing fungi like Aspergillus nidulans adapt their hyphal diameter and grow without problems through the channels. This study suggests two different growth mechanisms and a tradeoff between hyphal plasticity and growth speed.

PMID:34126771 | DOI:10.1128/mBio.00501-21

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