Scanning Microscopy


Candida albicans is a fungus that commonly infects the mucosal surface of humans. The hyphal growth form of this fungus may initiate the primary invasion of the host. Here we show that hyphae respond thigmotropically and morphologically to cues such as the presence of a surface, pores, grooves and ridges. Growth on some firm surfaces elicits a helical growth response. Hyphae follow grooves and ridges of inert substrates and penetrate pores of filtration membranes. Our in vitro experiments suggest that thigmotropism may enhance the ability of a hypha to invade epithelia of a host at sites of weakened integrity.

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