Dutch elm disease (DED) fungi exhibit yeast-mycelium dimorphism both in planta and in vitro. However, previously published data on the transition between these two growth forms in vitro were mostly obtained from a single strain. We examined the effect of six factors on yeast-mycelium dimorphism in vitro in ten strains of Ophiostoma ulmi, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and Ophiostoma himal-ulmi. Nitrogen sources, calcium, and yeast extract, altogether with inhibitors of phosphodiesterase (caffeine) and dioxygenases (propyl gallate and salicylic acid) were tested in defined culture media. Morphological response to manipulation of several of these factors varied according to the strain of Ophiostoma being analysed. Responses ranged from no statistical differences in morphological transitions to stimulation or reversion of yeast-mycelium dimorphism with the treatments that were tested. These results suggest that different mechanisms and pathways operate in the control of the yeast-mycelium transition in DED pathogens. Oxylipins could be involved in the yeast-to-mycelium transition, since the addition of a dioxygenase inhibitor, salicylic acid, reduced mycelium production in all strains that were tested.
Keywords: Cyclooxygenase; Hypha; Lipoxygenase; Morpological transition; Ophiostoma.
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