SUMMARY: Antisera have been raised in rabbits against three wall fractions from Fractions were separated according to Mahadevan & Tatum (1965), i.e. fraction I, glucan-peptide-galactosamine complex; fraction III, laminarin-like glucan; and fraction IV, chitin. Distinct patterns of immunofluorescent staining were obtained using an indirect staining method. Hyphae stained with antiserum to fraction I showed maximum fluorescence in the apical and/or subapical regions: in both cases, fluorescence showed a sharp decrease with distance behind the subapical region. Hyphae stained with antiserum to fraction III showed faintly fluorescent tips with fluorescence increasing with distance from the tip. Hyphae stained with antiserum to fraction IV showed faint fluorescence, equivalent to levels of autofluorescence, except at the sites of hyphal fractures. Antisera were also raised against whole walls from 24 and 120 h cultures. Hyphae stained with antisera against whole walls which had previously been absorbed to remove antibodies to fractions I, III and IV showed preferential staining of apices. The uncharacterized tip antigen(s) thus revealed was also demonstrated on immunodiffusion plates. This pattern of immunofluorescence was compared to the fluorescence of apices after staining with an optical brightener.

Enzymic dissection procedures did not generally give reliable results with apices from 24 h cultures. Untreated apices appeared amorphous, while a drastic chemical treatment revealed randomly oriented microfibrils which were shown to be α-chitin. The apical hyphal walls were significantly thinner than those from more mature hyphal regions.


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