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Fungal Biol. 2011 Jun;115(6):547-56. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

The mating projections of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans show key characteristics of hyphal growth.

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Sheffield University, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom.


Fungi can grow in a variety of growth forms: yeast, pseudohyphae and hyphae. The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans can grow in all three of these forms. In this fungus, hyphal growth is distinguished by the presence of a Spitzenkörper-like structure at the hyphal tip and a band of septin bars around the base of newly evaginated germ tubes. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae grows as yeast and pseudohyphae, but is not normally considered to show hyphal growth. We show here that in mating projections of both C. albicans and S. cerevisiae a Spitzenkörper-like structure is present at the growing tip and a band of septin bars is present at the base. Furthermore, in S. cerevisiae mating projections, Spa2 and Bni1 form a cap to the 3-dimensional ball of FM4-64 staining, exactly as previously observed in C. albicans hyphae, suggesting that the putative Spitzenkörper may be a distinct structure from the polarisome. Taken together this work shows that mating projections of both S. cerevisiae and C. albicans show the key characteristics of hyphal growth.

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