Send to

Choose Destination
Fungal Biol. 2011 Dec;115(12):1259-69. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Ribosomal DNA polymorphisms in the yeast Geotrichum candidum.

Author information

Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods Institute, STELA Dairy Research Centre, Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6.


The dimorphic yeast Geotrichum candidum (teleomorph: Galactomyces candidus) is commonly used to inoculate washed-rind and bloomy-rind cheeses. However, little is known about the phylogenetic lineage of this microorganism. We have sequenced the complete 18S, 5.8S, 26S ribosomal RNA genes and their internal transcribed spacers (ITS1) and ITS2 regions (5126 nucleotides) from 18 G. candidum strains from various environmental niches, with a focus on dairy strains. Multiple sequence alignments revealed the presence of 60 polymorphic sites, which is generally unusual for ribosomal DNA (rDNA) within a given species because of the concerted evolution mechanism. This mechanism drives genetic homogenization to prevent the divergent evolution of rDNA copies within individuals. While the polymorphisms observed were mainly substitutions, one insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphism was detected in ITS1. No polymorphic sites were detected downstream from this indel site, that is, in 5.8S and ITS2. More surprisingly, many sequence electrophoregrams generated during the sequencing of the rDNA had dual peaks, suggesting that many individuals exhibited intragenomic rDNA variability. The ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions of four strains were cloned. The sequence analysis of 68 clones revealed 32 different ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 variants within these four strains. Depending on the strain, from four to twelve variants were detected, indicating that multiple rDNA copies were present in the genomes of these G. candidum strains. These results contribute to the debate concerning the use of the ITS region for barcoding fungi and suggest that community profiling techniques based on rDNA should be used with caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center