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Architecture and chemistry of microconidial walls of Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Chemistry


The ultrastructure and chemical composition of the walls of Trichophyton mentagrophytes microconidia were investigated with particular emphasis on the localization of the major structural components within the walls. The walls consisted of carbohydrate (56.1% neutral polysaccharide, and 16.0% chitin), protein (22.6%), lipid (6.5%), ash (1.7%), and trace amounts of melanin (0.2%) and phosphorus (0.2%). in thin sections, three distince layers were recognized. The electron-transparent pellicle (15 to 20 nm thick) covering the outermost surface of the wall consisted of a glycoprotein-lipid complex and was mostly extracted by sodium phosphate buffer (0.1 M, pH 6.5) containing 8 M urea, 1% (vol/vol) mercaptoethanol, and 1% (wt/vol) sodium dodecyl sulfate. The middle electron-dense layer (30 to 50 nm thick) represented the proteinaceous rodlet layer embedded in polysaccharides and could be completely solubilized by hot alkali extraction (1 N NaOH, 100 DEGREES C, 1 h). The thick inner layer (200 to 300 nm thick) was relatively resistant to the above treatments and was found to consist of amorphous glucans and microfibrillar chitin. Approximately half of the inner wall glucans was susceptible to (1 leads to 3)-beta-glucanase.

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