G. Inglis, L. Kawchuk
Canadian journal of microbiology
Fourteen fungi (primarily representing mycoparasitic and biocontrol fungi) were tested for their ability to grow on and degrade cell walls (CWs) of an oomycete (Pythium ultimum), ascomycete (Fusarium equisetii), and basidiomycete (Rhizoctonia solani), and their hydrolytic enzymes were characterized. Protein was detected in the cultural medium of eleven of the test isolates, and these fungi significantly degraded CWs over the 14-day duration of the experiment. In general, a greater level of CW degradation occurred for F. equisetii and P. ultimum than for R. solani. Fungi that degraded F. equisetii CWs were Coniothyrium minitans, Gliocladium roseum, Myrothecium verrucaria, Talaromyces flavus, and Trichoderma harzianum. Taxa degrading P ultimum CWs included Chaetomium globosum, Coniothyrium minitans, M. verrucaria, Seimatosporium sp., Talaromyces flavus, Trichoderma hamatum, Trichoderma harzianum, and Trichoderma viride. Production of extracellular protein was highly correlated with CW degradation. Considerable variation in the molecular weights of CW-degrading enzymes were detected among the test fungi and the CW substrates in zymogram electrophoresis. Multivariate analysis between CW degradation and hydrolysis of barley beta-glucan (beta1,3- and beta1,4-glucanases), laminarin (beta1,3- and beta1,6-glucanases), carboxymethyl cellulose (endo-beta1,4-glucanases), colloidal chitin (chitinases), and chitosan (chitosanases) was conducted. For F. equisetii CWs, the regression model accounted for 80% of the variability, and carboxymethyl cellulases acting together with beta-glucanases contributed an R2 of 0.52, whereas chitinases and beta-glucanases alone contributed an R2 of 0.11 and 0.12, respectively. Only 61% of the variability observed in the degradation of P. ultimum CWs was explained by the enzyme classes tested, and primarily beta-glucanases (R2 of 0.53) and carboxymethyl cellulases (R2 of 0.08) alone contributed to CW break down. Too few of the test fungi degraded R. solani CWs to perform multivariate analysis effectively. This study identified several fungi that degraded ascomyceteous and oomyceteous, and to a lesser extent, basidiomycetous CWs. An array of enzymes were implicated in CW degradation.