Sensing the environment: lessons from fungi

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Jan;5(1):57-69. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1578.


All living organisms use numerous signal-transduction systems to sense and respond to their environments and thereby survive and proliferate in a range of biological niches. Molecular dissection of these signalling networks has increased our understanding of these communication processes and provides a platform for therapeutic intervention when these pathways malfunction in disease states, including infection. Owing to the expanding availability of sequenced genomes, a wealth of genetic and molecular tools and the conservation of signalling networks, members of the fungal kingdom serve as excellent model systems for more complex, multicellular organisms. Here, we review recent progress in our understanding of how fungal-signalling circuits operate at the molecular level to sense and respond to a plethora of environmental cues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Ammonia / analysis
  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Fungi / physiology*
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Pheromones / analysis
  • Pheromones / metabolism
  • Plants / microbiology
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Pheromones
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Ammonia
  • Glucose