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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2002 Aug;5(4):366-71.

Fungal morphogenesis and host invasion.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Aberdeen, UK.


Many fungal pathogens undergo morphological transformations during host invasion. However, the significance of this for fungal pathogenesis is not clear. Both yeast and hyphal cells have properties well suited to tissue invasion and evasion of the immune system. However, molecular control circuits that regulate morphogenesis also regulate the expression of other virulence traits. To establish the extent to which morphogenesis impacts on pathogenesis, it is necessary to characterise the morphology of the fungus at different stages and locations during the natural history of a disease and to untangle how gene expression is modulated at these stages. This review considers the role of morphogenesis in fungal infection and argues that no simple, universal relationship can be drawn between morphology and the invasive potential of a fungus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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