Cell extracts of Pringsheim contained enzymes which synthesized glucans from uridine diphosphoglucose. Both MgCl and cellobiose stimulated enzyme activity. The pH optimum was about 5.8. High substrate concentrations increased the proportion of alkali-insoluble glucans. Paper chromatography of cellulase-hydrolysed alkali-insoluble glucans revealed cellobiose indicating the presence of a (1#4)-β-glucan (cellulose) synthetase. Glucan synthetases were mainly located in the wall and microsomal fractions. They were more active in branched hyphae than in unbranched mycelium.

Subcellular fractions were characterized by density gradient ultracentrifugation, enzymic tests and electron microscopy. Synthetase activities were associated with dictyosomes which, by histochemical staining, were shown to contain (1#4)-linked polysaccharides. The results were consistent with the current interpretation of the role of the Golgi apparatus in hyphal morphogenesis.


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