SUMMARY: Larvae of (Lepidoptera) displayed a strong cellular reaction to the walled-stage hyphal bodies of the entomopathogenic fungus (Entomophthorales). In contrast, no reaction was observed against the wall-less protoplasts. This phenomenon was not due to an inhibition of the cellular response by secretion of a toxin by protoplasts. Furthermore, no molecular mimicry was observed between host and protoplast antigens. Host macromolecules which could protect them from being recognized as foreign did not attach to the protoplasts. Ultrastructural and chemical studies of hyphal body and protoplast surfaces of demonstrated the presence of 1,3-β-glucan and chitin on the hyphal wall, whereas these components were absent on the protoplast surface. Since purified 1,3-β-glucan and chitin isolated from and from another entomophthoralean species, , induced their haemocytic encapsulation , it is suggested that these wall components are responsible for the recognition of hyphal body elements, and that their absence accounts for the ability of protoplasts to escape encapsulation.


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