SUMMARY: Yeast cells of which had been attached to polylysine-coated microscope slides were induced to form buds or germ tubes in the presence of external electrical fields. The sites of budding and germ tube formation and the growth of germ tubes and hyphal branches were polarized preferentially towards the cathode. Buds were not converted to pseudohyphae or germ tubes by the field and the field had no effect on the positioning of nuclei or septa in the yeast cell or germ tube. Buds were less polarized than germ tubes at any given applied voltage. The polarization of buds reached a peak at an electrical field of 12 m V per cell. Polarization of germ tubes was biphasic, increasing rapidly with increasing field strengths up to 5 mV per cell, and then more slowly in stronger fields. An electrical field was only required for a fraction of the time taken for germ tubes to start to form, so cells retained a memory of experiencing an electrical field which influenced the selection of sites of evagination. Increasing the electrical field delayed the time of germ tube evagination and inhibited the rate of germ tube extension. Unlike previous findings with other filamentous fungi, germ tubes grew unidirectionally towards the cathode for extended periods and did not deviate to a perpendicular orientation. This result suggests that the septal pore of the filamentous form may have high electrical resistance and would act as an effective barrier to solute transport between intercalary compartments.


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