New study reveals how fungal cells respond to environmental stress

Mark Marten at University of Maryland, Baltimore Country (UMBC), led a team to study how cellular processes of fungal cells are triggered when they are exposed to environmental stress. The researchers identified three coordinated pathways in filamentous fungi, involved in response to the cell wall stress.

Study can have numerous implications and applications. Numerous species of filamentous fungi can make people sick, some can play important role in pharmaceuticals and enzyme development, and agriculture; while some can trigger improvement of quality of soil and make availability of nutrients easy for crops. 

Marten and his team studied how cells respond to environmental stressors and found that there is a coordinated response through multiple pathways, cells sense stress and try to protect themselves by increasing the number of septa (or cross-hyphal bulkheads) and also tried to repair damage caused to cell walls so that they can restore normal growth and function.

This study can have crucial implications, as understanding the working of cells and their behavioural pattern under stress can reverse engineering processes that could have extensive imputations.

The team further aims at studying the assembling pattern of fungal cells and how fungal gene regulatory networks function, thereby, they hope to understand how cells of fungi can turn on and off certain parts of their DNA under environmental stress.

Written by Khushbu Mathur

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