SUMMARY: Esterase activity in rapidly germinating conidia was several times higher than the esterase activity in conidia which germinate slowly. Starch gel electrophoresis experiments demonstrated the existence of esterase isoenzymes which are specific to the conidia. These isoenzymes completely disappeared during 20 h of conidial germination at 30 °C. Electron microscopy showed the successive breakdown of electron-dense compounds in storage bodies during conidial germination. These observations, taken together, indicate that the electron-dense compounds may be hydrolysed by specific esterases to serve as an endogenous energy and material source for germ tube formation. The levels of esterase activity, however, were not always proportional to the time required for conidial germination, indicating the possibility that additional enzyme systems might also be involved in the initial stages of germination.


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