Introduction to fungal physiology

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This chapter describes some basic aspects of fungal cell physiology, focusing primarily on nutrition, growth, metabolism in unicellular yeasts and filamentous fungi, and cell death. It considers the most common growth forms, the filamentous fungi and unicellular yeasts. Fungal growth involves transport and assimilation of nutrients, followed by their integration into cellular components, followed by biomass increase and eventual cell division or septation. The physiology of vegetative reproduction and its control in fungi has been most widely studied in two model eukaryotes, the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. An understanding of the death of fungal cells is important from a fundamental viewpoint because fungi, especially yeasts, represent valuable model systems for the study of cellular aging and apoptosis (programed cell death). Recycling and redeployment of cellular material also helps drive the apical growth of filamentous fungi and the mycelium explores and extends through the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFungi
Subtitle of host publicationbiology and applications
EditorsKevin Kavanagh
Place of PublicationHoboken
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781119374169, 9781119374275
ISBN (Print)9781119374329
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017


  • Cell death
  • Filamentous fungi
  • Fungal cells
  • Fungal growth
  • Fungal nutrition
  • Fungal physiology
  • Vegetative reproduction
  • Yeast


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