Relation between germination and mycelium growth of individual fungal spores

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The relation between germination time and lag time of mycelium growth of individual spores was studied by combining microscopic and macroscopic techniques. The radial growth of a large number (100-200) of Penicillium expansum and Aspergillus niger mycelia originating from single spores was monitored macroscopically at isothermal conditions ranging from 0 to 30°C and 10 to 41.5°C, respectively. The radial growth curve for each mycelium was fitted to a linear model for the estimation of mycelium lag time. The results showed that the lag time varied significantly among single spores. The cumulative frequency distributions of the lag times were fitted to the modified Gompertz model and compared with the respective distributions for the germination time, which were obtained microscopically. The distributions of the measured mycelium lag time were found to be similar to the germination time distributions under the same conditions but shifted in time with the lag times showing a significant delay compared to germination times. A numerical comparison was also performed based on the distribution parameters λm and λg, which indicate the time required from the spores to start the germination process and the completion of the lag phase, respectively. The relative differences %(λm-λg)/λm were not found to be significantly affected by temperatures tested with mean values of 72.5±5.1 and 60.7±2.1 for P. expansum for A. niger, respectively. In order to investigate the source of the above difference, a time-lapse microscopy method was developed providing videos with the behavior of single fungal spore from germination until mycelium formation. The distances of the apexes of the first germ tubes that emerged from the swollen spore were measured in each frame of the videos and these data were expressed as a function of time. The results showed that in the early hyphal development, the measured radii appear to increase exponentially, until a certain time, where growth becomes linear. The two phases of hyphal development can explain the difference between germination and lag time. Since the lag time is estimated from the extrapolation of the regression line of the linear part of the graph only, its value is significantly higher than the germination time, tG. The relation of germination and lag time was further investigated by comparing their temperature dependence using the Cardinal Model with Inflection. The estimated values of the cardinal parameters (Tmin, Topt, and Tmax) for 1/λg were found to be very close to the respective values for 1/λm, indicating similar temperature dependence between them. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.




Gougouli, M., & Koutsoumanis, K. P. (2013). Relation between germination and mycelium growth of individual fungal spores. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 161(3), 231–239.

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