Use of the tetrazolium salt MTT to measure cell viability effects of the bacterial antagonist Lysobacter enzymogenes on the filamentous fungus Cryphonectria parasitica

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Abstract

Despite substantial interest investigating bacterial mechanisms of fungal growth inhibition, there are few methods available that quantify fungal cell death during direct interactions with bacteria. Here we describe an in vitro cell suspension assay using the tetrazolium salt MTT as a viability stain to assess direct effects of the bacterial antagonist Lysobacter enzymogenes on hyphal cells of the filamentous fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. The effects of bacterial cell density, fungal age and the physiological state of fungal mycelia on fungal cell viability were evaluated. As expected, increased bacterial cell density correlated with reduced fungal cell viability over time. Bacterial effects on fungal cell viability were influenced by both age and physiological state of the fungal mycelium. Cells obtained from 1-week-old mycelia lost viability faster compared with those from 2-week-old mycelia. Likewise, hyphal cells obtained from the lower layer of the mycelial pellicle lost viability more quickly compared with cells from the upper layer of the mycelial pellicle. Fungal cell viability was compared between interactions with L. enzymogenes wildtype strain C3 and a mutant strain, DCA, which was previously demonstrated to lack in vitro antifungal activity. Addition of antibiotics eliminated contributions to MTT-formazan production by bacterial cells, but not by fungal cells, demonstrating that mutant strain DCA had lost complete capacity to reduce fungal cell viability. These results indicate this cell suspension assay can be used to quantify bacterial effects on fungal cells, thus providing a reliable method to differentiate strains during bacterial/fungal interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1280
Number of pages10
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

Keywords

  • Antagonism
  • Antifungal
  • Bacterial/fungal interaction
  • Biological control
  • Viability stain

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