Culture Age, temperature, and pH affect the polyol and trehalose contents of fungal propagules

John E. Hallsworth*, Naresh Magan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The growth and conidial physiology of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces farinosus were studied under different conditions. The effects of culture age (up to 120 days), temperature (5 to 35°C), and pH (2.9 to 11.1) were determined. Growth was optimal at pH 5 to 8 for each isolate and between 20 and 35°C, depending on the isolate. The predominant polyol in conidia was mannitol, with up to 39, 134, and 61 mg g of conidia-1 for B. bassiana, M. anisopliae, and P. farinosus, respectively. Conidia of M. anisopliae contained relatively small amounts of lower-molecular-weight polyols and trehalose (less than 25 mg g-1 in total) in all treatments. Conidia of B. bassiana and P. farinosus contained up to 30, 32, and 25 mg of glycerol, erythritol, and trehalose, respectively, g-1, depending on the treatment. Conidia of P. farinosus contained unusually high amounts of glycerol and erythritol at pH 2.9. The apparent effect of pH on gene expression is discussed in relation to the induction of a water stress response. To our knowledge, this is the first report of polyols and trehalose in fungal propagules produced over a range of temperature or pH. Some conditions and harvesting times were associated with an apparent inhibition of synthesis or accumulation of polyols and trehalose. This shows that culture age and environmental conditions affect the physiological quality of inoculum and can thereby determine its potential for biocontrol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2435-2442
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume62
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Microbiology

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