Evidence of self-inhibition by filamentous fungi accounts for unidirectional hyphal growth in colonies

Edward J. Bottone, Nimesh Nagarsheth, Kenneth Chiu

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23 Scopus citations


Hyphal growth in filamentous fungi proceeds in an unidirectional radial pattern from a point inoculation. An inhibitor produced, secreted, and absorbed by the advancing hyphae has been speculated to account for directional growth. Working with Mucor and Aspergillus, laboratory evidence is provided for the production of an inhibitor by the advancing hyphae of these filmentous fungi that precludes back growth. Strains of Mucor and Aspergillus inoculated in agar on a 0.45-mm membrane filter placed on agar surfaces grow radially beyond the filter perimeter and onto the agar surface. Removal of the filter pad does not result in hyphal extension back into the clear zone underlying the membrane filter. Inoculation of the clear zone with a fresh Mucor or Aspergillus spore suspension does not result in hyphal growth. Instead, germinating spores show aberrant and aborted hyphae. The fungal inhibitor shows cross-reactivity between Mucor and Aspergillus, is resistant to pronase (10 mg/mL) but not chloroform inactivation, and passes through dialysis tubing with a molecular weight cutoff of 3500.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-393
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Aspergillus
  • Fungal inhibitor
  • Mucor
  • Radial hyphal growth
  • Unidirectional hyphal growth


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