Taxonomy

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fungal Infections in Humans. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Taxonomy

Taxonomy
Kingdom: Fungi
This kingdom is currently divided into seven phyla (beyond the scope of this course). What is most important to realize is that the taxonomy of fungi is constantly evolving. Historically, classification has been based on the morphology of the organism. Of importance:
  • The rise of molecular testing (specifically, DNA sequencing) has led to confusion in assigning new classifications and nomenclature. The associated application, known as the phylogenetic approach to species recognition (PSR) concept, relies on the comparison of nucleic acid characteristics to define species. Pneumocystis is one such example - this organism which was once classified as a parasite, is now classified as a yeast-like fungus.
  • Multiple names may be assigned to the same organism. For example, the anamorph (asexual stage) versus the teleomorph (sexual stage) of some yeasts may confuse. Candida ciferrii is the anamorphic species name, while Trichomonascus ciferrii is the teleomorphic name.2
2. Carroll KC, Pfaller MA, Landry ML, McAdam AJ, Patel R, Richter SS, Warnock DW, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 12th ed.; Section 7: Mycology. ASM Press; 2019.