We have used video-enhanced light microscopy and digital image processing to characterize the intracellular motility and positioning of vesicles (∼1-μm diameter) and mitochondria in growing hyphal tip cells of Allomyces macrogynus. These observations were coupled with cytoskeletal inhibitory experiments to define the roles of the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons in organelle translocation and positioning. Vesicles and mitochondria were abundant in apical and subapical hypha regions. Vesicles traveled along paths that were parallel to the longitudinal axis of the cell. Anterograde (i.e., toward the hyphal apex) and retrograde (i.e., away from the hyphal apex) movements of vesicles occurred at average rates of 4.0 and 2.2 μm/s, respectively. Bidirectional travel of vesicles along common paths was noted in the cortical cytoplasm. Mitochondria were aligned mostly parallel to the long axis of the hypha, except those extending into the hyphal apex, which were oriented toward the Spitzenkörper. In regions of the subapical hypha mitochondria were often restricted to the cortical cytoplasm and nuclei occupied the central cytoplasmic region. Mitochondria displayed rapid anterograde movements reaching speeds of 3.0 μm/s, but primarily maintained a constant position relative to either the advancing cytoplasm or the lateral cell wall. Cytoskeletal disruption experiments showed that the positioning of mitochondria and motility of vesicles and mitochondria were microtubule-based and suggested that the actin cytoskeleton played uncertain roles.
- Hyphal tip growth
- Intracellular motility
- Video-enhanced light microscopy
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