Suppression of aerial hypha formation by spent culture filtrate of a non-degradative strain of Postia placenta
J A Micales
ME20, a wild-type monokaryotic strain of the brown-rot fungus Postia placenta, does not cause significant weight losses in standard soil-wood block decay tests and fails to form aerial hyphae in liquid and agar culture. This abnormal morphological feature may be caused by the same aberrant physiology that prevents the strain from degrading wood efficiently. ME20 releases elevated levels of the autolytic enzymes laminarinase and protease into culture media. These autolytic enzymes may degrade the cell wall and hyphal sheath, thus preventing aerial hypha formation and limiting wood colonization. If abnormally high levels of autolytic enzymes suppress aerial hypha formation, any strain of Postia placenta grown in their presence should take on the appearance of ME20. MAD698, a standard floccose test strain of Postia placenta, was grown in fresh media containing increasing concentrations of filter-sterilized spent culture filtrate of ME20. Aerial hypha formation was strongly inhibited or prevented when the spent culture filtrate made up 40% or more of the medium. Spent media from MAD698 caused a similar effect but only at higher concentrations (80 and 100%). The suppression does not appear to be caused by extracellular autolytic enzymes since commercial preparations of laminarinase, chitinase, and protease did not reproduce this effect. The suppressive agent appeared in ME20 culture filtrate after only two weeks of growth. It has a molecular weight of less than 10,000 and is resistant to boiling. Additional research is needed to characterize ist nature, thus identifying a potential biorational inhibitor of wood-decay fungi.