Summary: Cell walls isolated from rapidly elongating stipes of basidiocarps lost 55% of their dry weight during 24 h incubation at 37 °C. Neutral sugars accounted for 73% of the solubilized products, glucose being the major sugar component. In the carbohydrate fraction solubilized after relatively short periods of autolysis, polymeric (degree of polymerization > 10), dimeric and monomeric components were detected, and the larger components were converted to monosaccharide as the reaction proceeded. Three polysaccharide fractions of the cell wall were highly susceptible to autolytic enzymes, whereas another fraction was not. Chitin appeared to be relatively resistant. Analyses of the cell walls from various stages during stipe elongation revealed a positive relation between the rate of stipe elongation and the initial rate of autolysis, suggesting that the autolytic enzymes are involved in the mechanisms of stipe elongation.


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