Fungal cells and osmotic stress

Colin Davidson cabd2 at
Wed Jun 4 03:35:01 EST 2003

"Eric Wilk" <Eric.Wilk at> wrote in message
news:3EDAC046.F29CFA95 at
> I was looking for info on this, too; I couldn't find many specifics,
> though.  The fungal cells are certainly more resistant than a lot of
> other types of cells, i.e. bacteria because of their chitin cell wall,
> but I have also read journal articles where the researchers isolated the
> hyphal cells with PBS and a .1% Tween-80 buffer, even though it would
> seem this is a higher salt concentration than is in their natural
> enviornment.  The cells of basidiomycetes (one order of mushroom-bearing
> fungi,) however, can live in plain distilled water for a while, and this
> is how I have seen most work done (except liquid broth, etc, which has
> stuff in it that should balance out the osmotic potential, anyway.)
> Cells of the faster growing fungi, i.e. Actinomycetes like Nerurospora,
> would be more susceptable to damage caused by osmotic pressure, but I
> have no clue as to what extent.
> Anybody else have more info?

The whole area of osmotic and ionic stress in microbiology is, to my mind,
shockingly under-researched. The problem is that whilst we can make up a
load of buffered media and the like and put the cells in it's awfully hard
to determine what happenst to the osmotic strength, ionic strength or even
the total buffering capacity during growth experiments. So any data on this
can be somewhat difficult to obtain. Sensor technology is, I'm afraid,
running a long way behind the need.

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