Multicelled conidia are formed by many fungal species, but germination of these spores is scarcely studied. Here, the germination and the effects of antimicrobials on multicompartment macroconidia of Fusarium culmorum were investigated. Germ-tube formation was mostly from apical compartments. The intracellular pH (pH(in)) of the different individual cells of the macroconidia was monitored during germination. The pH(in) varied among different compartments and during different stages of germination. The internal pH was lowest in ungerminated cells and rose during germ-tube formation and was highest in new germ tubes. Antifungal compounds affect the pH(in) and differentiation of the conidia. The pH(in) inside the macroconidial compartments was lowered very fast in the presence of nystatin (1 and 4 microg/ml). At sublethal doses (0.3 microg/ml), the apical compartments were preferentially targeted showing lower pH(in) values. The reduced germination capacity of apical compartments under these conditions was compensated by an increased germination capacity of middle compartments.