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Curr Microbiol. 2001 Dec;43(6):429-33.

Factors affecting the morphogenetic switch in Yarrowia lipolytica.

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Departamento de Microbiologia y Genética, Instituto de Microbiologia Bioquimica/CSIC, Universidad de Salamanca, 37071, Salamanca, Spain.


Yarrowia lipolytica is a dimorphic yeast usually isolated from dairy products. Here we described methods for inducing in a homogeneous way a true yeast-hypha transition in liquid medium. As a first step, the cells must be synchronized in the G1 phase of the cell cycle by nitrogen starvation. Using either N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) or serum as the only carbon sources, more than 90% of the cells form hypha after 4-6 h of incubation. Bovine albumin is also able to induce the yeast-hypha transition, although to a lesser extent. The addition of glucose to cultures growing with GlcNAc arrest the morphogenetic switch but not when added to cultures growing in the presence of serum. Serum also induces invasive growth in solid medium. Neither pH, nitrogen starvation, nor temperature play a relevant role in the morphogenetic switch. Our results suggest that, as occurs in Candida albicans, at least two morphogenetic signal pathways exist in Y. lipolytica.

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