The effect of Na (CI or gluconate salt) on growth and dimorphic potential of the pathogenic yeast has been examined. Profiles of germ tube formation as a function of salt addition, pH and temperature indicated Na inhibition of germ tube outgrowth at high ambient pH (pH 8.0) which was exacerbated by replacement of CI with gluconate (as an impermeant analogue). At acidic pH (pH 5.5) and permissive temperature (37 °), gluconate alone promoted the dimorphic transition. Rates of glucose-induced medium acidification and plasma membrane H-ATPase activity have been measured to assess whether salt treatments could retard the cytoplasmic alkalinization known to precede germ tube formation. The precise site of Na action remains unclear but the anion effects may be interpreted in terms of anion-exchanger and channel activity acting to modulate cytosolic pH.


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