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The maceration of deciduous leaf litter by aquatic hyphomycetes

Canadian Journal of Botany 58(9): 1025-1031
The maceration of deciduous leaf litter by aquatic hyphomycetes
Isolates of 5 spp. of aquatic hyphomycetes [Alatospora acuminata Ingold, Clavariopsis aquatica DeWild., Flagellospora curvula Ingold, Lemonniera aquatica DeWild. and Tetracladium marchalianum DeWild.,] were grown in pure culture with hickory (Carya glabra) leaf material as the sole source of Ca and energy. Enzymatic activity by all 5 spp. resulted in the skeletonization of leaves through maceration of the leaf matrix and subsequent release of leaf cells as fine particulate organic matter. Fractionation and analysis of leaf material after incubation indicated that all 5 spp. metabolized (degraded) cellulose and 2 spp. metabolized (degraded) hemicelluloses. In cultures inoculated with T. marchalianum, fine particulate release coincided with increases in fungal biomass (ATP) and activity of enzymes in the supernatant which degraded carboxymethylcellulose, xylan and polygalacturonic acid. Macerating activity increased with increasing pH suggesting involvement of pectin trans-eliminase in the softening of leaf tissue by this fungus.

Accession: 006712677

DOI: 10.1139/b80-126

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