What Are Fungal Fimbriae

BiofilmsAdhesions: Example – Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue. Normally, internal tissues and organs have slippery surfaces so they can shift easily as the body moves. Adhesions cause tissues and organs to stick together. Example: They might connect the loops of the intestines to each other, to nearby organs, or to the wall of the abdomen.

Fungal fimbriae are surface appendages that were first described on the haploid cells of the smut fungus, Microbotryum violaceum. They are long (1-20 gm), narrow (7 nm) flexuous structures that have been implicated in cellular functions such as mating and pathogenesis. Since the initial description, numerous fungi from all five phyla have been shown to produce fimbriae on their extracellular surfaces.

Cell-to-cell interactions are fundamental to the processes of fungal growth and development. In particular, cell-to-cell adhesions occur during mating and pathogenesis.

Many fungi produce flexible, long (1-20 ,um), narrow (7 nm), unbranched appendages which appear similar to pili or fimbriae found on the surface of prokaryotic cells. These structures, termed fungal fimbriae, were first observed on the surface of haploid yeast-like cells of the anther smut Microbotryum violaceum (= Ustilago violacea) by Poon and Day (1974). Since their original description, fungal fimbriae have been shown to be widespread among the Mycota (Gardiner et al., 1981, 1982; Benhamou and Ouellette, 1987; Castle et al., 1992; Rghei et al., 1992; Celerin et al., 1995).

In M.violaceum, fungal fimbriae appear to be involved in cell-to-cell communication during mating before pathogenesis. Both mechanical and enzymatic removal of fimbriae from the haploid cells delays mating until fimbrial regeneration occurs (Poon and Day, 1975). In addition, mating is almost completely blocked by coating fimbriae with anti-fimbrial protein antiserum (Castle et al., 1996).

Fungal fimbriae have also been implicated as factors involved in pathogenic adhesion. Rghei et al. (1992) suggested that fimbriae are used in the initial interactions between a parasitic fungus and its host.

PDF: Fungal fimbriae are composed of collagen

Read about Filamentous Biofilm.