Chapter 23 : Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi

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Melanins are dark pigments that are made by diverse fungi ( ). Even fungi that produce white colonies, such as , have the ability to make melanins ( ). Melanins have elicited considerable interest in microbial pathogenesis because they are important virulence factors for many pathogenic microbes, and their presence is associated with reduced susceptibility to antifungal drugs ( ). Melanins are multifunctional molecules that give cells structural strength as well as reduced susceptibility to temperature extremes, heavy metals, and molecules produced by the immune system such as oxygen- and nitrogen-derived oxidants and microbicidal proteins ( ).

Citation: Casadevall A, Cordero R, Bryan R, Nosanchuk J, Dadachova E. 2017. Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi, p 509-514. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0037-2016
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Figure 1

Melanized and melanin “ghosts.” Melanized cell in India Ink suspension to illustrate the cellular location of melanin. The cell wall appears dark because of the presence of melanin. Note that melanin is external to the body of the cell. Melanin ghosts prepared from melanized cryptococcal cells by strong acid digestion ( ), which removes cellular components except for the cell wall-associated melanin. Scanning electron microscopy of a melanin ghost showing its granulated surface structure, porosity, and thickness.

Citation: Casadevall A, Cordero R, Bryan R, Nosanchuk J, Dadachova E. 2017. Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi, p 509-514. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0037-2016
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