Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The fine structure of ungerminated and aerobically germinated sporangiospores of Mucor rouxii was compared. The germination process may be divided into two stages: I, spherical growth; II, emergence of a germ tube. In both stages, germination is growth in its strictest sense with overall increases in cell organelles; e.g., the increase in mitochondria is commensurate with the overall increase in protoplasmic mass. Noticeable changes occurring during germination are the disappearance of electron-dense lipoid bodies, formation of a large central vacuole and, most strikingly, formation of a new cell wall. Unlike many other fungi, M. rouxii does not germinate by converting the spore wall into a vegetative wall. Instead, as in other Mucorales, a vegetative wall is formed de novo under the spore wall during germination stage I. This new wall grows out, rupturing the spore wall, to become the germ tube wall. Associated with the apical wall of the germ tube is an apical corpuscle previously described. The vegetative wall exhibits a nonlayered, uniformly microfibrillar appearance in marked distinction to the spore wall which is triple-layered, with two thin electron dense outer layers, and a thick transparent inner stratum. The lack of continuity between the spore and vegetative walls is correlated with marked differences in wall chemistry previously reported. A separate new wall is also formed under the spore wall during anaerobic germination leading to yeast cell formation. On the other hand, in the development of one vegetative cell from another, such as in the formation of hyphae from yeast cells, the cell wall is structurally continuous. This continuity is correlated with a similarity in chemical composition of the cell wall reported earlier.
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