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Proceedings Paper

Hyphal responses of Neurospora crassa to micron-sized beads with functional chemical surface groups
Author(s): Marie Held; Clive Edwards; Dan V. Nicolau
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Paper Abstract

Filamentous fungi include serious plant and animal pathogens that explore their environment efficiently in order to penetrate the host. This environment is physically and chemically heterogeneous and the fungi rely on specific physical and chemical signals to find the optimal point/s of attack. This study presents a methodology to introduce distinct structures with dimensions similar to the hyphal diameter and specific chemical surface groups into a controllable environment in order to study the fungal response. We introduced 3.3 μm polystyrene beads covered with Epoxy surface groups into microfluidic channels made from PDMS by rapid replica molding. The experimental setup resulted in different areas with low and high densities of beads as well as densely packed patches. The observations of the fungus exploring the areas long-term showed that the growth parameters were altered significantly, compared with the values measured on agar. The fungus responded to both, the physical and chemical parameters of the beads, including temporary directional changes, increased branching angles, decreased branching distances, decreased apical extension velocities and occasional cell wall lysis. The wealth and magnitude of the observed responses indicates that the microfluidic structures provide a powerful platform for the investigation of micron-sized features on filamentous fungi.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7902, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IX, 79020S (10 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881721
Show Author Affiliations
Marie Held, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
Clive Edwards, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
Dan V. Nicolau, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7902:
Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IX
Daniel L. Farkas; Dan V. Nicolau; Robert C. Leif, Editor(s)

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