Microscopic observations of germination and septum formation in pycnidiospores of Botryodiplodia theobromae

William P. Wergin, Larry D. Dunkle, James L. Van Etten, Grant St. Julian, Lee A. Bulla

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5 Scopus citations


A population of aseptate pycnidiospores of the fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae can be induced to germinate or to form septa delimiting two cells; this developmental process is dependent upon nutritional and environmental factors. Transmission electron microscope investigations indicate that during germination of the aseptate spore, a new inner wall layer is synthesized de novo at the site of germ tube emergence. Formation of the septum also involves the de novo synthesis of an inner wall layer which comprises the majority of the septum and completely surrounds the spore. The wall of the germ tube emerging from the septate spore is a direct extension of this inner layer deposited during the formation of the septum. Although the early stages of spore germination may involve localized enzymatic degradation of the internal layers of the spore wall, transmission and scanning electron micrographs of germinating spores show that the outer wall layers are physically fractured by the emerging germ tube. It is suggested that spore germination and septum formation are initially similar processes regarding cell wall genesis but that some mechanism responsive to environmental and nutritional conditions determines the course of development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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