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Yeast. 2003 Dec;20(16):1339-47.

New modules for PCR-based gene targeting in Candida albicans: rapid and efficient gene targeting using 100 bp of flanking homology region.

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Department of Microbiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany.


The use of PCR-based techniques for directed gene alterations has become a standard tool in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In our efforts to increase the speed of functional analysis of Candida albicans genes, we constructed a modular system of plasmid vectors and successfully applied PCR-amplified functional analysis (FA)-cassettes in the transformation of C. albicans. These cassettes facilitate: (a) gene disruptions; (b) tagging of 3'-ends of genes with green fluorescent protein (GFP); and (c) replacements of endogenous promoters to achieve regulated expression. The modules consists of a core of three selectable marker genes, CaURA3, CaHIS1 and CaARG4. Modules for C-terminal GFP-tagging were generated by adding GFP-sequences flanked at the 5'-end by a (Gly-Ala)3-linker and at the 3'-end by the S. cerevisiae URA3-terminator to these selection markers. Promoter exchange modules consist of the respective marker genes followed by the regulatable CaMAL2 or CaMET3 promoters at their 3'-ends. In order to ensure a reliably high rate of homologous gene targeting, the flanking homology regions required a size of 100 bp of gene-specific sequences, which were provided with the oligonucleotide primers. The use of shorter flanking homology regions produced unsatisfactory results with C. albicans strain BWP17. With these new modules only a minimal set of primers is required to achieve the functional analysis of C. albicans genes and, therefore, provides a basic tool to increase the number of functionally characterized C. albicans genes of this human pathogen in the near future.

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