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Keywords:

  • alcohol percentage test;
  • contact angle;
  • Fusarium;
  • hydrophobicity;
  • hydrophobins;
  • water drop penetration time

Abstract

Aim:  To determine whether assessing the penetration of solutions with different concentrations of ethanol (alcohol percentage test: APT) on fungal surfaces is effective in characterization of hydrophobicity on fungal surfaces.

Methods and Results:  APT and contact angle (CA) measurements were conducted on nine hydrophobic and two hydrophilic fungal strains from the phyla of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Zygomycota. There was a strong positive correlation (R2 = 0·95) between the APT and CA measurements from eight of the nine hydrophobic stains (four pathogenic and mycotoxigenic Fusarium taxa, one melanosporaceous biotrophic taxon, Alternaria sp, Penicillium aurantiogriseum and Cladosporium cladosporioides). Hydrophilic control strains, Mortierella hyalina and Laccaria laccata, had CAs <90° and no measurable degree of hydrophobicity using the APT method.

Conclusions:  The APT method was effective in measuring the degree of hydrophobicity and can be conducted on different zones of fungal growth.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  Characterization of fungal surface hydrophobicity is important for understanding of its particular role and function in fungal morphogenesis and pathogenesis. APT is a simple method that can be utilized for fungal hydrophobicity measurements when CA cannot be measured because of obscured view from aerial mycelia growth.