Fungi classification depending on cell morphology

Depending on cell morphology classified as :

  1. Yeasts
  2. Yeast like fungi
  3. Molds
  4. Dimorphic fungi

1- Yeasts:

  • Unicellular fungi which reproduce by budding On culture  –  produce  smooth, creamy colonies e. g  Cryptococcus neoformans (capsulated yeast)
Cryptococcus neoformans yeast cells

Cryptococcus neoformans yeast cells

2- Yeast like fungi:

  • Grow partly as yeasts and partly as elongated cells resembling hyphae which are called pseudo hyphae e.g. Candida albicans.
Candida albicans yeasts and pseudohyphae

Candida albicans yeasts and pseudohyphae

3- Molds/ Filamentous fungi:

  • Multicellular fungi that form true mycelia & reproduce by formation of different types of spores. Vegetative/ aerial hyphae e.g. Rhizopus, Mucor
Molds - Filamentous fungi

Molds – Filamentous fungi

4- Dimorphic fungi:

Occur in 2 forms Molds (Filaments) – 25°C (soil) while Yeasts – 37°C (in host tissue). Most fungi causing systemic infections are dimorphic:

  • Histoplasma capsulatum
  • Blastomyces dermatidis
  • Paracoccidioides brasiliensis
  • Coccidioides immitis
  • Penicillium marneffei
  • Sporothrix schenkii
Illustration of the Life Cycle of the Dimorphic Fungus Histoplasma capsulatum

Illustration of the Life Cycle of the Dimorphic Fungus Histoplasma capsulatum

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