is a pathogenic fungus that primarily afflicts immunocompromised patients, infecting the central nervous system to cause meningoencephalitis that is uniformly fatal if untreated. is a basidiomycetous fungus with a defined sexual cycle that has been linked to differentiation and virulence. Recent advances in classical and molecular genetic approaches have allowed molecular descriptions of the pathways that control cell type and virulence. An ongoing genome sequencing project promises to reveal much about the evolution of this human fungal pathogen into three distinct varieties or species. shares features with both model ascomycetous yeasts (, ) and basidiomycetous pathogens and mushrooms (, , ), yet ongoing studies reveal unique features associated with virulence and the arrangement of the mating type locus. These advances have catapulted to center stage as a model of both fungal pathogenesis and the interesting approaches to life that the kingdom of fungi has adopted.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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