Summary: The sterol content of germinating conidia of the opportunistic pathogenic fungus has been correlated with germination phase and sensitivity to polyene antibiotics. The sterol and sterol ester contents of walls did not change during germination. The sterol ester content of membranes and cell sap remained constant during germination, whereas the sterol content increased during the outgrowth of germ tubes. On the basis of differential extraction studies it was concluded that the loss of resistance to polyenes that occurred in the early stages of swelling of conidia during germination was not due to a movement of sterol or sterol ester out of the wall.

Radioactive-labelling experiments demonstrated that, although the amounts of conidial wall sterol and sterol ester did not change during germination, they were metabolically active. Changes in the turnover rate of wall and membrane sterol and sterol ester during germination were investigated and their relationship to a possible mechanism for the change from resistance to sensitivity to polyene antibiotics is discussed.


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