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Quorum Sensing Activity and Hyphal Growth by External Stimuli in the Entomopathogenic Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangzhou 510260, China
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Insects 2020, 11(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040205
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
The entomopathogenic fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis is one of the best known and most precious medicines and health food in China. The blastospores-hyphae (dimorphism) transition of this fungus in host hemolymph is critical for the virulence and the mummification of host larvae. To regulate this transition, the effects of inoculum density and fifteen chemicals including fungal nutrients, fungal metabolites, quorum-sensing molecules (QSMs) and insect hormones on the dimorphism in O. sinensis were investigated in vitro. The blastospores tended to exhibit budding growth when inoculated at 107 blastospores per mL, and hyphal growth at concentrations lower than 106 blastospores per mL. At 105 blastospores per mL, the percentage of hyphal formation decreased with the addition of filtered spent medium containing 107 blastospores per mL, indicating the quorum-sensing effect. Blastospores-hyphae transition in this fungus by fifteen chemicals was varied from no response to dimorphic reversion. The addition of N-acetylglucosamine at three concentrations significantly stimulated hyphal formation while inhibiting budding growth. For the first time, insect hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone was found to be involved in the hyphal formation in fungi. These results open new possibilities to regulate the dimorphism, which would be beneficial for the cultivation of the Chinese cordyceps. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ophiocordyceps sinensis; fungal dimorphism; inoculum density; nutrient; quorum sensing molecule; fungal metabolite; insect hormone Ophiocordyceps sinensis; fungal dimorphism; inoculum density; nutrient; quorum sensing molecule; fungal metabolite; insect hormone
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Liu, G.; Cao, L.; Qiu, X.; Han, R. Quorum Sensing Activity and Hyphal Growth by External Stimuli in the Entomopathogenic Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis. Insects 2020, 11, 205.

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