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, many
have "true" (whole-cell-fusion) sex; so by these and similar criteria
(dolichols, sterol pathway...), fungi also comfortably belong with "normal
eukaryotes". The hyphae cell wall is not that dissimilar to other glycan
polymers, and a tendency to make syncitia is also a widespread
characteristic among eukaryotes. The tendency of fungi toward a saprophitic
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 have
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 humans,
e.g., Pneumocystis and Candida and perhaps the Microsporidia (if these are
also fungi; there remains dispute about the latter suggestion).
At 03:20 PM 9/30/97 +0100, David Hagerberg wrote:
>>In our PhD-course in mycology we started to discuss what special
>features there are in a fungal cell compared to the normal eukaryotic
>cell. Soon we started to discuss what the *normal* eukaryotic cell is.
>>Now I would like to release for discussion:
>>What is a normal eukaryotic cell?
>>What is the most common eukaryotic cell?
>>Looking forward for opinions!
>> David Hagerberg
>>Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
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 iupui.edu