The ability to emit and receive signals over long distances is one of the characteristic attributes of multicellular organisms. Such communication can be mediated in different manners (by chemical compounds, light waves, acoustic waves etc.) and usually is reflected in the behaviour of the communicating organisms. Recently, we reported that individual yeast colonies, organised multicellular structures, can also communicate at long distance by means of volatile ammonia, which is produced by colonies in pulses separated by acidification of the medium. Here, we demonstrate that the colony that first reached the stage of intense ammonia production induces ammonia production response in surrounding colonies regardless of their age, causing the synchronisation of their NH(3) pulses and, consequently, the mutual affection of their growth. Also an artificial source of ammonia (but neither NH(4)(+) nor NaOH gradients) can immediately induce the ammonia production even in the colony starting its acidic stage of the development. The repeated transition of Candida mogii colonies from the acidic phase to the phase of intensive ammonia production is accompanied by dramatic changes in colony morphology and also in cell morphology and growth. Relatively smooth colonies in the acidic phase are formed by growing pseudohyphae. After ammonia induction, pseudohyphae decompose into non-dividing yeast-like cells, which rearrange themselves into ruffled spaghetti-like structures. The synchronisation of colony growth, that also exists between yeast colonies of different genera, could be important in establishing their optimal distribution in a natural habitat.

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