Filamentous fungi grow exclusively at their tips, where many growth-related fungal processes, such as enzyme secretion and invasion into host cells, take place. Hyphal tips are also a site of active metabolism. Understanding metabolic dynamics within the tip region is therefore important for biotechnology and medicine as well as for microbiology and ecology. However, methods that can track metabolic dynamics with sufficient spatial resolution and in a nondestructive manner are highly limited. Here we present time-lapse Raman imaging using a deuterium (D) tracer to study spatiotemporally varying metabolic activity within the hyphal tip of Aspergillus nidulans. By analyzing the carbon–deuterium (C–D) stretching Raman band with spectral deconvolution, we visualize glucose accumulation along the inner edge of the hyphal tip and synthesis of new proteins from the taken-up D-labeled glucose specifically at the central part of the apical region. Our results show that deuterium-labeled Raman imaging offers a broadly applicable platform for the study of metabolic dynamics in filamentous fungi and other relevant microorganisms in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas