Normal Eukaryotic Cell

Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D. t at e.r
Wed Oct 1 07:57:12 EST 1997

I think of fungi as having relatively normal eukaryotic cells.  The
metazoan-fungal divergence is relatively recent, compared with other
eukaryotes.  Of course, eukaryotes have organelles, a nuclear membrane,
have "true" (whole-cell-fusion) sex; so by these and similar criteria
(dolichols, sterol pathway...), fungi also comfortably belong with
eukaryotes".  The hyphae cell wall is not that dissimilar to other
polymers, and a tendency to make syncitia is also a widespread
characteristic among eukaryotes.  The tendency of fungi toward a
or decay-promoting lifestyle is also widespread.
I think that there are good arguments to unify medical mycology and
parasitology, which were separated in most settings by splits between
biology/zoology and botany departments; they are often in the same
department in France, I think, and clinical microbiology labs usually
mycology and parasitology diagnosis together, since they're both
morphology-based in diagnosis, usually.  Although most fungi are
opportunists, dedicated parasites also exist among fungi, even for
e.g., Pneumocystis and Candida and perhaps the Microsporidia (if these
also fungi; there remains dispute about the latter suggestion).


Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
635 Barnhill Dr., MS A128
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5113
Ph 317-274-2651; FAX 317-278-0643
e-mail:  gmclaugh at

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