Letter | Published:

Backward-directed Fungal Hyphal Branching

Naturevolume 214pages517518 (1967) | Download Citation



YOUNG hyphae of filamentous fungi generally grow outward in a straight line from their point of origin in a colony. The branches of the hypha grow at a more or less acute angle to the parent hypha and in a forward-pointing direction. They never grow backwards into the colony except under unusual experimental conditions1. There are exceptions. The clamp connexions of the Basidiomycetes, on initiation, grow backwards, as may the fusion cell in crozier formation in the Ascomycetes. Another exception may be found among the mycelial strand-forming fungi such as Merulius lacrimans, where thigmotropically sensitive “tendril” hyphae may grow backwards (or forwards) along the wide main hyphae2.

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  1. 1

    Robertson, N. F., The Fungi, 1, The Fungal Cell (edit. by Ainsworth, G. C., and Sussman, A. S.), 621 (Academic Press, New York, 1965).

  2. 2

    Butler, G. M., Ann. Bot., NS., 22, 219 (1958).

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  1. National Research Council of Canada, Prairie Regional Laboratory, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    • R. H. HASKINS


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