M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentSasso Fernando
SubjectGermination: the Initial Stage in the Trichoderma
virens - Plant Interaction
DepartmentDepartment of Biology
Supervisor PROF. Benjamin Horwitz
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Fungal spores are relatively inactive metabolically. Following their germination, fungal hyphae proliferate rapidly by mitotic division and tip growth, acquire nutrients and interact with other organisms. Members of the ascomycete genus Trichoderma are widely distributed in the soil and plant rhizospheres where they can interact with roots. If already growing as mycelia, the fungus can interact directly with roots. The fungus is often present as spores which can withstand lack of nutrients drought or temperature extremes, and in this case the first step in the interaction is germination. Fungal spores undergo different morphological changes during germination. In some species hydration is enough to trigger germination, however Trichoderma spores do not complete germination until activated by different nutrients that can be found in most culture media. In the soil, these could hypothetically originate from root exudate. Trichoderma virens is a well-known and studied biocontrol agent, but studies related to its early stages of development are even today not well described in the literature. By using new technologies as the Amnis ImageStreamx, a multispectral imaging flow cytometry assay with combined standard microscopy can be performed to obtain images of initial fungal cellular shape changes during different time sets. In this study, the technology was developed and tested for different culture media. A large number of digital images can be acquired and later analyzed based on features providing the statistical significance when high counting events are run in different experimental samples.