The life cycle of during development on solid medium has been studied from a physiological perspective. A biphasic growth pattern was demonstrated, evidenced by a continuous transition from an initial exponential growth period into a slower phase of biomass accretion. The switch between the two phases coincided with the exhaustion of nitrate from the medium. The depletion of nitrate from the medium coincided with the initiation of aerial mycelium formation within the cultures and the development of hydrophobic surface properties. During secondary growth, cultures remained metabolically active, continuing to accumulate DNA, despite a cessation in the levels of RMA and cell protein accretion. In addition, the accumulation of glycogen and lipid contributed to the observed accretion of biomass in this phase. The depletion of nitrate also marked an increase in the production of α-ketoglutarate by the culture and a coincident decrease in medium pH. Latter stages of the secondary growth phase saw the development of spores within the culture, this in turn was associated with a decrease in cellular glycogen. This supported previous observations that glycogen degradation and spore maturation were intimately associated.


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