On-chip measurement of protrusive force exerted by single hyphal tips of pathogenic microorganisms
Invasive growth is a process used by fungi and oomycetes to find sources of nutrients. To study the protrusive forces generated as part of this process, we have developed a Lab-on-a-Chip platform capable of measuring forces exerted by individual hyphal tips during hyphal growth. Force measurement was demonstrated by culturing the oomycete Achlya bisexualis on-chip. Protrusive forces of 7.5 μN and bending forces of 19 μN were recorded for this organism. The platform provides a useful tool to better understand the mechanisms enabling fungi and oomycetes to grow invasively.