Plant Science

Breaking the Mold

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Science  07 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5856, pp. 1525
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5856.1525a

Filamentous fungi are believed to grow exclusively by means of elongation at their tips. However, this mechanism has seemed incompatible with the transmission of Neoptyphodium and Epichloë endophytic fungi through the embryos of seeds of their host grasses. By examining the vegetative growth of fungi within Lolium spp. grasses, Christensen et al. find evidence for hyphal expansion by physical expansion (intercalary growth); the fungi attach to their host cells (see hypha attached to a fescue leaf, above) and stretch within the space between cells, paralleling the leaf expansion growth mode of their host. Furthermore, the authors suggest that intercalary growth is an adaptation that maintains the integrity of hyphae within the leaves of its host. — LMZ

Fungal Genet. Biol. 10.1016/j.fgb.2007.07.013 (2007).

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