Chapter 6: Structure and synthesis of fungal cell walls

The fungal wall can justifiably be described as a sophisticated cell organelle because of the range of functions for which it is responsible and for its importance as a feature which is characteristic of the fungi.

In this Chapter we will discuss the fungal wall as a working organelle, and then consider the fundamental aspects of wall structure, function and wall architecture. We will describe each of the main components in detail; the chitin component, the glucan, and the glycoprotein. Wall synthesis and remodelling is also described, although you should already be aware of some of the mechanisms that may be involved (discussed in Section 5.15) and that the dynamic nature of the fungal cell wall is also mentioned during discussions of hyphal and spore differentiation (Section 9.3), hyphal branching (Section 4.11), septation (Sections 4.12 and 5.17) and hyphal anastomosis (Section 5.16).

In the final two Sections of this Chapter we give consideration to two aspects that are often overlooked: what happens on the outside of the wall is contemplated in the Section entitled  On the far side; and finally we look, briefly, at the fungal wall as a clinical target (although antifungal agents that target the wall are dealt with in detail in Chapter 18).

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Ordering details: Moore, D., Robson, G.D. & Trinci, A.P.J. (2011). 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521186957.

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Updated December 23, 2016