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A non-destructive immunoblotting technique for visualisation and analysis of the growth dynamics of Rhizoctonia solani

  • Douglas J. BAILEY (a1), Christopher R. THORNTON (a1) (a2), Frances M. DEWEY (a3) and Christopher A. GILLIGAN (a1)


Immunoblotting combined with computer imaging and a simple, non-linear mathematical model were used to demonstrate the potential of a technique for non-destructive visualisation and analysis of fungal growth of Rhizoctonia solani over the surface of non-sterile sand. Immunoblotting detected actively growing regions of mycelium enabling visualisation of individual hyphae at the colony edge. A zone of active growth was detected expanding radially over time. Active growth did not continue in the centre of the fungal colony leading to the development of a ring of mycelium surrounding the inoculum. Change in the density of actively growing mycelium with distance from the inoculum unit was summarised for each colony at each time by a Gaussian function, describing a wave of actively growing mycelium, symmetrical in density about its centre but differing amongst replicate colonies. The effectiveness of the immunoblotting technique to detect differences in colony growth was tested by comparing the growth of replicate colonies for two contrasting isolates of R. solani. When both isolates of R. solani were grown at 23 °C the amplitude of the wave increased to a maximum and then decayed over time, the location of the centre of the wave moved outwards at a constant rate, whilst the width of the wave increased. Increasing the temperature to 28 °, accelerated this intrinsic growth process for one isolate, but retarded growth of the other.


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