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Abstract Detail


Gonzalez, Benjamin [1].

Obstacle-Induced Branching in Filamentous Fungi.

Filamentous fungi have impactful roles as primary and secondary decomposers in ecosystems, in symbiotic relationships with plant root structures, and as plant and animal pathogens. Crucial to their ecological roles is the mechanisms they have evolved to navigate the difficult and varied substrates that they grow in. When filamentous fungi impact an obstacle to their growth, they exhibit branching responses in attempts to navigate the obstacle. Obstacle-induced branching responses have been investigated in Neurospora crassa, a fungus belonging to the phylum Ascomycota. These obstacle-induced branching responses have not been investigated in Rhizopus oryzae, a fungus belonging to the phylum Mucoromycota. Neurospora crassa and R. oryzae are evolutionarily divergent and employ different vesicular organizations at their hyphal tips. This research investigates the obstacle-induced branching responses of these fungi in order to compare their growth and navigation strategies. In addition, this work seeks to determine any evolutionary advantages present in N. crassa or R. oryzae due to their differences in tip organization. To investigate obstacle-induced branching responses in the fungal hyphae, time-lapsed videos were captured with phase contrast light microscopy as they navigated chambers containing growth obstacles. Growth obstacles in the chambers were presented to the hyphae as three different maze patterns (diamonds, squares, and chevrons). These patterns were chosen to provide a variety of obstacles to the hyphal growth of the fungi with varying impact angles. Neurospora crassa had different obstacle-induced branching responses than R. oryzae. In the chevron mazes, N. crassa displayed a hyper-branching response which resulted in a branching cascade that ultimately was unable to overcome the obstacle. The dramatic hyper-branching N. crassa displayed resulted in the halt of exploration of the maze chamber before completion.

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1 - Arizona State University, school of life sciences, 2875 w highland st unit 1191, chandler, az, 85224, United States


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: MYP2, Mycology Posters II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MYP2001
Abstract ID:1061
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Poster Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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