RESEARCH ON CELL WALL CYTOCHEMISTRY OF SELECTED FUNGI.
Final rept. 15 Mar 64-10 Mar 65,
FARR CYTOCHEMICAL LABS CAMDEN MAINE
Pagination or Media Count:
Cytochemical analyses of the four imperfect fungi, Cylindrocephalum sp., Curvularia lunata, Aspergillus oryzae, and Gliocladium deliquescens showed that the resistant material in their cell walls is chitin. All efforts to identify cellulose produced negative results. Solutions of chitinase-containing Worthington Lysozyme Muramidase in concentrations of 0.5mg.ml. brought about dissolution of the cell walls and dispersion of the cell contents. Enzymatic hydrolysis represents the most suitable method now available for the conversion of fungal cell wall chitin to digestible end products with the simultaneous release of nutrient substances in the protoplasm. Specific studies have continued on protoplasmic phenomena within the cells of fungi examined, especially Heterocephalum aurantiacum Plastid-like structures in the protoplasts are the cell organs which produce chitin. Chitin-forming plastids increase in number by direct division and the quantities of chitin at their surfaces, in a given cell, may be equal to or greater than the amount of chitin in the cell wall. This information necessitates the inclusion of chitin located in the protoplasts, as well as that in the cell walls, in any considerations of fungal tissues as food for astronauts in extended explorations of space. Author