Fungal attachment to nematodes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The adhesion mechanisms in three nematophagous fungi are reviewed. In all these fungi the infection and subsequent digestion of nematodes is initiated by the firm adhesion of the fungus to the nematode surface. In Arthrobotrys oligospora the adhesive phase is restricted to special three-dimensional structures. Drechmeria coniospora conidia attach to the nematode cuticle by an adhesive bud while Catenaria anguillulae uses an adhesive phase of zoospore development for this purpose. In A. oligospora, the adhesion of nematodes to the traps is mediated by a layer of extracellular fibrillar polymers. The ultrastructure of this layer changes during adhesion, the fibrils become more dense and oriented in one direction. The surface layer consists mainly of carbohydrate-containing fibrils and a low-molecular-weight protein. Previous and present studies show that the low-molecular-weight protein of A. oligospora is a lectin. In contrast, the adhesive layer of D. coniospora does not seem to change during the adhesion process. The adhesin of C. anguillulae appears to consist mainly of protein. The studies suggest that adhesion of nematodes to A. oligospora involves a recognition event using a lectin-carbohydrate interaction which might trigger the reorganization of the surface polymer layer and release of enzymes, leading to the firm binding of the nematode. A similar process may take place also in other nematophagous fungi.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
JournalMycological Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch