Navigation Links
A*STAR scientists solve century-old mystery by finding stable haploid strains of Candida albicans
Date:2/1/2013

A*STAR scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have identified what eluded yeast scientists for the past 100 years, by constructing stable haploid strains of Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen. This discovery, jointly made by two teams of scientists led by Prof Wang Yue of IMCB and Prof Judith Berman of the University of Minnesota, will enable scientists to effectively target and treat infections by Candida albicans. The findings, "The 'obligate diploid' Candida albicans forms mating-competent haploids", were published in the online issue of Nature on 30 January 2013.

Candida albicans ranks among the top four microbial pathogens in hospital-acquired infections of the blood, which has a mortality rate of as high as 45%. Currently, the choice of drugs for treating infections by this pathogen is limited, and drug-resistance has emerged worldwide, posing a great challenge to medicine.

Importance of the discovery

Nearly all other fungi have a haploid and a diploid phase in their life cycle, enabling the haploid cells to mate and generate genetic variations. However, up till this recent discovery, yeast scientists the world over had been unable to identify a haploid phase of this fungus.

Commenting on the significance of the discovery, Dr Mohan Balasubramanian, Senior Investigator at Temasek Lifesciences Laboratory and a leading yeast geneticist in the world, said, "The scientists show that the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, long thought of as always having two copies of each chromosome and no sexual reproduction in its life, in fact can and does exist as a sexually reproducing cell carrying only one copy of its genome."

Without a haploid phase, it is indeed extremely difficult for scientists to carry out genetic screens in fungi as this would require the precise targeting of both copies of a gene in a diploid organism to be able to observe a change, thus hindering the progress of the study of the virulence and delaying the development of effective treatment of fungal infections. With this discovery of the haploid phase in Candida albicans, however, scientists will now be able to easily target just one copy of the gene to observe a change, allowing for more successful screening and speeding up the discovery of targets for the development of drugs.

Prof Wang, who is a Research Director at IMCB, said, "Our discovery helps to fill a long missing gap in the life cycle of this important pathogen, greatly advancing our understanding of how it generates genetic variations for evolution and adaptation. At the same time, haploid Candida albicans also allows scientists to carry out traditional genetic screens that will certainly accelerate the identification of genes important for infection and drug targets for medical intervention."

Dr Balasubramanian said, "The paper by Wang, Berman and colleagues cuts across multiple fields, including evolutionary biology, genetics, and medical microbiology. The tools the authors have developed will help speed up the analyses of gene function in this important pathogen and might also therefore speed up our efforts to cure Candida infections".


'/>"/>

Contact: Vithya Selvam
vithya_selvam@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6291
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Breakthroughs in Chikungunya research from A*STAR spell new hope for better treatment and protection
2. A*STAR scientists discover potential drug for deadly brain cancer
3. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
4. Queens scientists seek vaccine for Pseudomonas infection
5. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
6. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
7. Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
8. Scientists discover new method of proton transfer
9. Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
10. WileyChina.com - Now Featuring Bespoke Pages for China’s Life Scientists
11. Scientists win $2 million to study new pathway in development and maintenance of lymphoma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development Company ... company of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation ... technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has ... from private investors. ... detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... India , March 10, 2016 ... a new market research report "Identity and Access Management ... & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated ... USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... March 8, 2016   Valencell , the ... announced it has secured $11M in Series D ... a new venture fund being launched by UAE-based ... from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua ... continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its pioneering ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry will testify ... before the United States House Committee on Science, Space and ... controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec has pioneered ... in Brazil , Panama ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. ... given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and ... anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President ... privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... May 19, 2016 , ... Anton Paar USA, located in ... office building is complete. The new structure adds a third office building to the ... USA purchased 2.4 acres of land, along with office space adjacent to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: