Fungal morphogenesis and host invasion

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2002 Aug;5(4):366-71. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(02)00338-7.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitosporic Fungi / genetics
  • Mitosporic Fungi / growth & development*
  • Mitosporic Fungi / pathogenicity*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Mycoses / physiopathology
  • Virulence


  • Fungal Proteins