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J Bacteriol. 1981 Feb;145(2):896-903.

Natural heterozygosity in Candida albicans.


We subjected 16 Candida albicans clinical isolates to ultraviolet radiation and tested the survivors for auxotrophy. Six isolates displayed strongly biased auxotroph spectra: three yielded methionine auxotrophs, two yielded both isoleucine-valine and adenine auxotrophs, and one yielded lysine auxotrophs. We present evidence that auxotrophs arise by segregation from naturally occurring heterozygous states. The remaining isolates yielded few or no auxotrophs in an arbitrary sample (greater than 2,500) of survivors of irradiation. Our experiments indicate that C. albicans is diploid, although aneuploidy (2n + i) cannot be rigorously excluded. We discuss the possible utility of heterozygosity as a marker in epidemiological studies, and we discuss a rationale for the frequent occurrence of heterozygosity.

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