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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Mar 13;98(6):3249-53.

Genomic evidence for a complete sexual cycle in Candida albicans.

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  • 1Graduate Program in Oral Biology, Department of Stomatology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0422, USA.


Candida albicans is a diploid fungus that has become a medically important opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised individuals. We have sequenced the C. albicans genome to 10.4-fold coverage and performed a comparative genomic analysis between C. albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the objective of assessing whether Candida possesses a genetic repertoire that could support a complete sexual cycle. Analyzing over 500 genes important for sexual differentiation in S. cerevisiae, we find many homologues of genes that are implicated in the initiation of meiosis, chromosome recombination, and the formation of synaptonemal complexes. However, others are striking in their absence. C. albicans seems to have homologues of all of the elements of a functional pheromone response pathway involved in mating in S. cerevisiae but lacks many homologues of S. cerevisiae genes for meiosis. Other meiotic gene homologues in organisms ranging from filamentous fungi to Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans were also found in the C. albicans genome, suggesting potential alternative mechanisms of genetic exchange.

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