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Science. 2000 Jul 14;289(5477):307-10.

Evidence for mating of the "asexual" yeast Candida albicans in a mammalian host.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Since its classification nearly 80 years ago, the human pathogen Candida albicans has been designated as an asexual yeast. In this report, we describe the construction of C. albicans strains that were subtly altered at the mating-type-like (MTL) locus, a cluster of genes that resembles the mating-type loci of other fungi. These derivatives were capable of mating after inoculation into a mammalian host. C. albicans is a diploid organism, but most of the mating products isolated from a mouse host were tetrasomic for the two chromosomes that could be rigorously monitored and, overall, exhibited substantially higher than 2n DNA content. These observations demonstrated that C. albicans can recombine sexually.

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