SUMMARY: Sclerotia of the rice sheath blight fungus, Köhn, were examined for their capacity to synthesize RNA, DNA, polyadenylic acid, and for their ribonuclease and protease activities during development on a liquid medium. During maturation, sclerotia appeared to pass through three phases. The first, a period of rapid RNA synthesis, was accompanied by a decline in the content of polyA(+)-RNA and a decrease in the permeability of the sclerotia. These changes suggested that the first 2 h were a time of reorientation of cellular metabolism. This was followed by a period of general synthesis lasting for 30 h which was accompanied by a further decrease in permeability, increased protease and ribonuclease activities and a rapid build-up of ribosomes. The second period terminated when protease activity declined, the other activities stabilized and the sclerotia began to turn brown. The third period, maturation, lasted for 15 days at which time the sclerotia began to float.


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