Summary: A P NMR study of the fungal pathogen was carried out. Yeast-form cells at different phases of growth, as well as germ tubes and hyphae were examined. In all cases, the NMR spectra showed well separated resonance peaks arising from phosphorus-containing metabolites, the most prominent being attributable to inorganic phosphate (P) polyphosphates, sugar phosphates and mononucleotides, NAD, ADP and ATP. Relevant signals were also detected in the phosphodiester region. The intensity of most signals, as measured relative to that of P, was clearly modulated both at the different phases of growth and during yeast-to-mycelium conversion, suggesting significant changes in the intracellular concentration of the corresponding metabolites. In particular, the intensity of the polyphosphate signal was high in exponentially growing, yeast-form cells, then progressively declined in the stationary phase, was very low in germ tubes and, finally, undetectable in hyphae.

NMR spectral analysis of the P region showed that from early-stationary phase, P was present in two different cellular compartments, probably corresponding to the cytoplasm and the vacuole. From the chemical shift of P, the pH values of these two compartments could be evaluated. The cytoplasmic pH was generally slightly lower than neutrality (6.7-6.8), whereas the vacuolar pH was always markedly more acidic.


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