Ethanol has been reported to cause mycelial growth in Pk233, and mycelial growth has also been shown to be abolished by concomitant addition of -inositol. In this study, the process of ethanol-induced mycelial growth in this organism was examined in combination with cytological characterization of actin localization. Cultivation with ethanol gave biphasic growth curves. During the first growth phase (doubling time 2.4 h), there was an accumulation of swollen spherical yeast cells, instead of the oblong ones observed in the control culture, followed by the appearance of spherical daughter cells in chains. Randomly distributed actin patches were observed on these swollen yeast cells and the bud initiation sites of these cells appeared random. These observations suggested that ethanol caused depolarization of cell growth during the first phase. During the second growth phase (doubling time 7.4 h), pseudohyphal cells appeared, projecting from the swollen yeast cells. Activity of chitinase in the control culture rose during the exponential phase. In the ethanol culture the activity stayed at a low level throughout the growth phases. When pseudohyphal cells were transferred to fresh ethanol medium, yeast cells appeared from pseudohyphal filaments and changed their shape to spherical, and filamentation appeared to be inhibited during the first phase. From these observations, an initial effect of ethanol on cells appeared to be depolarization of cell growth, and the resulting swollen cells grew as polar pseudohyphal cells. In the culture supplemented with both ethanol and inositol, or with both ethanol and sorbitol, the accumulation of swollen cells was not observed and single yeast cells with normal oblong shape were seen throughout the growth phases.


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