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Hyphae vs. Pseudohyphae: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 27, 2023
Hyphae are long, branching filamentous structures of fungi; pseudohyphae are chains of elongated yeast cells resembling hyphae but not truly filamentous.

Key Differences

Hyphae represent the main mode of vegetative growth in most fungi, forming a network called mycelium. Pseudohyphae, on the other hand, represent a type of growth observed in some yeast cells when they elongate and remain attached after dividing.
Morphologically, hyphae are true fungal filaments that grow at their tips and have partitioned sections called septa in some species. Pseudohyphae look similar to hyphae but are formed by chains of budding yeast cells that didn't fully separate after division.
The function of hyphae in fungi is diverse, including nutrient absorption, anchoring, and reproduction. Pseudohyphae are typically formed by yeasts, like Candida, as a response to environmental stress or during invasive growth.
While hyphae are a characteristic feature of filamentous fungi or molds, pseudohyphae are not true filaments and are mostly associated with certain yeasts. The presence of pseudohyphae often indicates a transition between yeast and hyphal growth forms.
It's crucial to distinguish between hyphae and pseudohyphae, especially in medical microbiology. While hyphae indicate the presence of molds, pseudohyphae can signify specific yeasts, aiding in the identification and treatment of infections.

Comparison Chart


True fungal filaments
Chains of elongated yeast cells


Tip growth
Growth by elongation and budding

Presence of Septa

Present in septate fungi
Absent, but constrictions at original bud sites


Nutrient absorption, anchoring, reproduction
Response to stress or for invasive growth in certain yeasts


Filamentous fungi or molds
Specific yeasts like Candida

Hyphae and Pseudohyphae Definitions


Hyphae are filamentous structures that make up the body of a fungus.
The mold spread rapidly due to its branching hyphae.


Pseudohyphae are chains of yeast cells that resemble true hyphae.
Under the microscope, the yeast displayed a pseudohyphal growth.


The collective mass of hyphae is termed mycelium.
The mycelium, consisting of hyphae, covered the decaying wood.


Pseudohyphae can be indicative of certain fungal infections in humans.
The presence of pseudohyphae suggests a Candida infection.


Hyphae play a role in fungal reproduction, especially in forming spores.
Reproduction in fungi involves specialized structures developed from hyphae.


They often form in response to environmental stress in yeast.
The yeast responded to the harsh conditions by forming pseudohyphae.


They represent the vegetative growth of fungi.
Hyphae penetrate the substrate, absorbing nutrients for the fungus.


They are not true fungal filaments but elongated yeast cells.
Pseudohyphae are an intermediate form between yeast and true hyphal growth.


Hyphae can be septate, with cross-walls, or coenocytic, without them.
The septa in the hyphae had pores, allowing for cytoplasmic flow.


Pseudohyphae grow through a process of elongation and budding.
The yeast cells elongated and remained attached, forming pseudohyphae.


Any of the threadlike filaments forming the mycelium of a fungus.


Plural of pseudohypha


Any of the threadlike filaments produced by certain bacteria.


Plural of hypha


The long, branching filaments of which the mycelium (and the greater part of the plant) of a fungus is formed. They are also found enveloping the gonidia of lichens, making up a large part of their structure.


How do pseudohyphae differ from true hyphae in growth?

Pseudohyphae are formed by elongated yeast cells that remain attached after budding, while true hyphae grow at their tips.

What are hyphae?

Hyphae are long, branching filamentous structures that constitute the main body of fungi.

What organisms typically produce pseudohyphae?

Some yeasts, like Candida, produce pseudohyphae, especially under certain conditions.

What function do hyphae serve in fungi?

Hyphae are involved in nutrient absorption, anchoring the fungus, and reproduction.

Why is distinguishing between hyphae and pseudohyphae important?

This distinction helps in fungal identification, understanding growth patterns, and in some cases, clinical diagnoses.

What is the collective term for a mass of hyphae?

A mass of hyphae is called mycelium.

Why might a yeast form pseudohyphae?

Pseudohyphae often form in response to environmental stress or during invasive growth.

Are pseudohyphae true filaments?

No, pseudohyphae are chains of yeast cells that resemble hyphae but aren't truly filamentous.

Is the formation of pseudohyphae a permanent change?

No, yeasts forming pseudohyphae can often revert to typical yeast growth under different conditions.

Can hyphae invade human tissues?

Yes, some pathogenic fungi have invasive hyphae that can penetrate and damage human tissues.

Can both hyphae and pseudohyphae be present in the same sample?

Yes, especially in certain infections where the fungus exhibits a mixed growth form.

Are hyphae unique to fungi?

Yes, hyphae are a characteristic structure of fungi.

Can hyphae be multicellular?

Yes, especially when they have septa or cross-walls dividing them into compartments.

What's the significance of pseudohyphae in medical microbiology?

The presence of pseudohyphae can help identify certain yeast infections, like those caused by Candida.

Are all fungi made of hyphae?

No, while many fungi are filamentous with hyphae, others like yeasts are unicellular.

How can one visually differentiate between hyphae and pseudohyphae?

Under a microscope, pseudohyphae appear as elongated yeast cells with constrictions, whereas true hyphae are consistent filamentous structures.

What environmental factors can induce pseudohyphal growth?

Factors like nutrient limitation, pH changes, or presence of certain chemicals can induce pseudohyphal growth in susceptible yeasts.

Is pseudohyphal growth a characteristic of all yeasts?

No, pseudohyphal growth is observed in specific yeasts and under particular conditions.

Do pseudohyphae have septa?

No, pseudohyphae do not have septa but may have constrictions where budding occurred.

Are hyphae involved in fungal reproduction?

Yes, hyphae can differentiate into structures that play roles in both asexual and sexual reproduction.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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