Yeast-Hyphal Dimorphism

  • N. A. R. Gow


All fungi have some capacity to grow in two basic morphological forms — spheres and tubes — therefore it could be argued that they are all, to some extent, dimorphic. For many filamentous fungi spherical growth may only be expressed during the formation of spores and many yeast-like fungi have only the remnants of a true filamentous growth habit. However, the many shapes and forms found among the 64 000 recognized species of fungi are by and large generated by employing these two basic patterns of cell wall expansion. The dimorphic fungi are taken to represent those organisms in which the equilibrium between polarized and spherical growth is such that vegetative growth can occur in either a hyphal or budding mode according to environmental conditions. The term dimorphism is a misnomer since many of the so-called dimorphic fungi produce a variety of cell forms and therefore are really polymorphic.


Yeast Cell Candida Albicans Germ Tube Phenotypic Switching General Microbiology 
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Copyright information

© Neil A.R. Gow and Geoffrey M. Gadd 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. A. R. Gow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Marischal CollegeUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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