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Mycoses. 2007 Jan;50(1):1-12.

Chlamydospore formation in Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis--an enigmatic developmental programme.

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Institut für Molekulare Infektionsbiologie, Universität Würzburg, Röntgenring, Würzburg, Germany.


Chlamydospore formation has served for a long time for identification of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, but the biological function of these structures still remains a secret. They have been proposed to allow survival in harsh environmental conditions, but this assumption remains to be proven. Chlamydospores are produced only by the two closely related species C. albicans and Candida dubliniensis, whose natural habitats are humans and warm-blooded animals, but not by other Candida species that are also found outside animal hosts. However, no role in the pathogenesis of Candida infections has been assigned to these unusual cells and only a limited number of studies have been conducted in the past to unravel their function. The development of new molecular tools and the recent discovery of mating in C. albicans have also restimulated investigations to understand the morphogenesis and function of chlamydospores. The finding that chlamydospore formation is differentially controlled by certain environmental signals in C. albicans and C. dubliniensis has opened new approaches to study the regulation of this morphogenetic programme. These studies have already identified genes and signalling pathways that are required for chlamydospore production and should lead to a detailed understanding of this fascinating developmental process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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