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Keywords:

  • Aspergillus;
  • β-glucan;
  • growth;
  • cell structure

ABSTRACT

β-1,3-glucan is a major component of fungal cell walls with various biological activities, including effects on the production of inflammatory mediators in vivo and in vitro. However, few reports have examined its influence on the fungal cell itself. In this study, the influences of β-1,3-glucan on the growth and cell wall structure of fungi was examined. Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured with a synthetic medium, C-limiting medium, in the presence or absence of β-1,3-glucan. Hyphal growth was promoted in liquid and solid-cultures by adding β-1,3-glucan. Glucose and dextran did not induce growth. The influence on cell wall structure of the β-glucan-added cultures was examined by enzymolysis and NMR spectroscopy and the amount of β-1,3-glucan found to be changed. β-1,3-glucan has been widely detected in the environment. In this study, it was demonstrated that β-1,3-glucan causes promotion of the growth, and a change in the cell wall architecture, of Aspergillus. Unregulated distribution of β-1,3-glucan would be strongly related to the incidence of infectious diseases and allergy caused by Aspergillus spp.