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Future Microbiol. 2009 Mar;4(2):171-9. doi: 10.2217/17460913.4.2.171.

The enigma of the major repeat sequence of Candida albicans.

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  • 1Research Center for Pathogenic Fungi & Microbial Toxicoses, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chiba 260-8673, Japan.


The major repeat sequence, discovered in the yeast Candida albicans, is a stretch of repeated DNA that occurs nine times in the haploid genome of this opportunistic fungal pathogen and probably a similar number of times in the genome of Candida dubliniensis. In C. albicans it constitutes 1-2% of the genome. Its occurrence is limited to those two species. Despite its major role as a genomic feature, its function, mode of expansion in size due to duplication of internal subunits, and its origin and mechanism of distribution throughout the genome are not understood, although it is associated with chromosome translocations, chromosome length polymorphisms and regulation of the yeast-hypha dimorphic transition. The polymorphism of the major repeat sequence has been exploited in epidemiology and taxonomic studies. This review describes its sequence, occurrence, use in epidemiology and examines the evidence for its role in chromosome dynamics.

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