Cytology, cell walls and septa: A summary of yeast cell biology from a phylogenetic perspective

Ida Van Der Klei*, Marten Veenhuis, Stanley Brul, Frans M. Klis, Piet W.J. De Groot, Wally H. Müller, Kenneth G.A. van Driel, Teun Boekhout

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter aims to present an overview of yeast cell biology, biochemical structure and composition of cell walls in various yeast species, septal pore ultrastructure, and other subcellular characteristics, and a phylogenetic framework to these observations. Yeast cells have ultrastructural features typical of other eukaryotic cells, which include the presence of membrane-bound organelles. Through the use of microscopic techniques, yeast cells have been the topic of detailed structural research for many decades. Because of their relatively small size, electron microscopy is an essential tool for the study of the cellular ultrastructure of the cell. Yeast cells contain all subcellular structures typical of eukaryotes. These structures include the cytoskeleton, a nucleus and various subcellular organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, and microbodies. Like plants, yeast cells contain a vacuole, and the plasma membrane is surrounded by a rigid cell wall. However, chloroplasts are absent in all fungi, which include the yeasts. Fluorescence microscopy methods have become an attractive tool for studying living yeast cells due to the availability of novel fluorescent dyes and the introduction of genes that encode fluorescent proteins. Upon introduction of hybrid genes encoding a fluorescent protein fused to a yeast protein, any subcellular structure can be specifically marked and its kinetics analyzed in real time in living yeast cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Yeasts
EditorsCletus P. Kurtzman, Jack W. Fell, Teun Boekhout
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780444521491
Publication statusPublished - 1-Dec-2011

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