Volume 12 Part 1 Article 12: Enzymatic Regulation of Temperature Dependent Fruit Body Morphogenesis in Pleurotus ostreatus

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 12
Year 1989
Title: Enzymatic Regulation of Temperature Dependent Fruit Body Morphogenesis in Pleurotus ostreatus
Author: J. Müller


For centuries people have been fascinated by the sudden appearance of the fruit bodies of higher fungi. During the classical antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages, the explanations for this event were placed in a popular mythology. Even today, the processes which are involved in the transition from the inconspicuous mycelium to the eye-catching fruit bodies of the macromycetes are one of the central open questions of mycology. Meanwhile a lot of descriptive informations on different growth stages have been worked out. But so far, remarkable little experimental work has been done (Burnett 1976). It is known that the fructification is influenced by several environmental conditions, e.g. nutrition, temperature, humidity, light, aeration, and gravity (Hawker 1968). But we are still far away from an understanding of these factors. Therefore it was intended to complete these studies by an experimental work on the morphogenesis of fruit bodies.

For this the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, was chosen because by the genetic analysis of Li (1980) one knows that in this species a single Mendelian factor controls the whole dicaryotic fruit body morphogenesis from the primordium to the mature sporophore. On the other hand, no biochemical work has been done on the development of fruit bodies in this genus. Therefore it shold be investigated which enzymatic processes are involved in the primary expression of the described genetic control. The experiments started with the cell wall degrading enzymes because Bartnicki-Garcia (1968) considered in his paper on cell wall chemistry, morphogenesis and taxonomy of fungi whether the morphological development of fungi could be reduced to a question of the morphogenesis of cell walls. Further the growth of fruit bodies in higher fungi requires non-polar insertion of new wall materials, and this presupposes partial lysis of cell wall polysaccharides.

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