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Microbiology. 2007 Aug;153(Pt 8):2373-2385. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/006163-0.

Temporal analysis of Candida albicans gene expression during biofilm development.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802, USA.
Center for Medical Mycology, Department of Dermatology, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Microarrays were used to identify changes in gene expression associated with Candida albicans biofilm development. Two biofilm substrates (denture and catheter), and two C. albicans strains for each substrate, were tested to remove model- and strain-dependent variability from the overall dataset. Three biofilm developmental phases were examined: early (6 h), intermediate (12 h), and mature (48 h). Planktonic specimens were collected at the same time points. Data analysis focused primarily on gene expression changes over the time-course of biofilm development. Glycolytic and non-glycolytic carbohydrate assimilation, amino acid metabolism, and intracellular transport mechanisms were important during the early phase of biofilm formation. These early events increase intracellular pools of pyruvate, pentoses and amino acids, which prepare the biofilm for the large biomass increase that begins around 12 h of development. This developmental stage demands energy and utilizes specific transporters for amino acids, sugars, ions, oligopeptides and lactate/pyruvate. At mature phase (48 h), few genes were differentially expressed compared with the 12 h time point, suggesting a relative lack of initiation of new metabolic activity. Data analysis to assess biofilm model-specific gene expression showed more dynamic changes in the denture model than in the catheter model. Data analysis to identify gene expression changes that are associated with each strain/substrate combination identified the same types of genes that were identified in the analysis of the entire dataset. Collectively, these data suggest that genes belonging to different, but interconnected, functional categories regulate the morphology and phenotype of C. albicans biofilm.

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