SUMMARY: Ethanol and other substances that induce rhizomorphs in spp. also induced laccase formation. In a range of isolates rhizomorph production and laccase activities were positively correlated. Laccase was first detectable just before the appearance of rhizomorph initials. Its activity reached a peak when rhizomorph growth rate was highest and fell to near zero when rhizomorph growth ceased. Laccase was not detected in non-induced cultures. Laccase reaction with chromogenic substrates was much higher in rhizomorphs than in mycelia. Laccase activity and rhizomorph production, but not mycelial growth, were decreased in the presence of enzyme inhibitors with activity against laccase. The results suggest a role for laccase in morphogenesis and/or growth of rhizomorphs.


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