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The mechanism of forcible spore discharge from fungal water cannons

Frances Trail

à 11h en salle C. Brot

The largest group of fungi, the Ascomycota, contains many fungi that impact our daily lives, including those that cause human diseases, cause significant annual crop losses, and the yeasts essential for making wine and bread. Many filamentous ascomycetes forcibly discharge their spores from microscopic water cannons called asci. Forcible discharge disseminates spores into air currents for long distance dispersal. We have developed the fungus Fusarium graminearum as a model system in which to study the mechanism of forcible spore discharge. To begin to unravel the structural mechanism of the ascus in F. graminearum, we have applied techniques of microscopy, physiology, genomics, molecular genetics, mutagenesis, and computational biology. This work has revealed the osmolytes used to generate pressure within the ascus, regulatory mechanisms of firing, the role of spore shape in discharge, and has lent insight to the underlying structural components that allow the ascus to fire.

Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University.


Fluides & Matériaux Complexes