Candida albicans is a diploid yeast with a predominantly clonal mode of reproduction, and no complete sexual cycle is known. As a commensal organism, it inhabits a variety of niches in humans. It becomes an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients and can cause both superficial and disseminated infections. It has been demonstrated that genome rearrangement and genetic variation in isolates of C. albicans are quite common. One possible mechanism for generating genome-level variation among individuals of this primarily clonal fungus is mutation and mitotic recombination leading to loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Taking advantage of a recently published genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) map (A. Forche, P. T. Magee, B. B. Magee, and G. May, Eukaryot. Cell 3:705-714, 2004), an SNP microarray was developed for 23 SNP loci residing on chromosomes 5, 6, and 7. It was used to examine 21 strains previously shown to have undergone mitotic recombination at the GAL1 locus on chromosome 1 during infection in mice. In addition, karyotypes and morphological properties of these strains were evaluated. Our results show that during in vivo passaging, LOH events occur at observable frequencies, that such mitotic recombination events occur independently in different loci across the genome, and that changes in karyotypes and alterations of phenotypic characteristics can be observed alone, in combination, or together with LOH.
Forche, Anja; May, Georgiana; and Magee, P. T., "Demonstration of loss of heterozygosity by single-nucleotide polymorphism microarray analysis and alterations in strain morphology in Candida albicans strains during infection" (2005). Neuroscience Faculty Publications. 26.