Navigation Links
Discovery of sexual mating in Candida albicans could provide insights into infections

Like many fungi and one-celled organisms, Candida albicans, a normally harmless microbe that can turn deadly, has long been thought to reproduce without sexual mating. But a new study by Professor Judith Berman and colleagues at the University of Minnesota and Tel Aviv University shows that C. albicans is capable of sexual reproduction.

The finding, published online by Nature January 30, represents an important breakthrough in understanding how this pathogen has been shaped by evolution, which could suggest strategies for preventing and treating the often serious infections that it causes.

The most common fungus that infects humans, C. albicans is part of the large community of microorganisms that live for the most part harmlessly within the human gut. But unlike many of its neighbors, this one-celled yeast can also cause disease, ranging from thrush (an oral infection) and vaginal yeast infections to systemic blood infections that cause organ failure and death and usually occur in people with immune defects related to HIV/AIDS, organ transplantation or chemotherapy. C. albicans is responsible for 400,000 deaths annually.

Most single-celled organisms reproduce by dividing, but others reproduce asexually, parasexually or via sexual mating. Scientists have long believed that C. albicans reproduce without mating.

Organisms that produce asexually or parasexually are diploid, which means they have two sets of chromosomes and thus can reproduce without a mate. Organisms that reproduce sexually are haploid, which means they have one set of chromosomes and need a mate to provide a second set. C. albicans was believed to be diploid, but this study shows that the yeast is sometimes haploid, and that these haploids are capable of sexual reproduction.

Sexual reproduction fuels the evolution of higher organisms because it combines DNA from two parents to create one organism. The haploid isolates discovered in Professor Berman's lab arise only rarely within a population, and have been detected following propagation in the lab or in a mammalian host. These haploids can mate with other haploids to generate diploid strains with new combinations of DNA, which may provide the diversity required for fungus to evolve.

The haploid C. albicans isolates also pave the way for genetic studies of the pathogen, such as the construction of "libraries" of recessive mutant strains. In addition, the ability to perform genetic crosses between haploids will help produce modified diploid strains that should help scientists better understand interactions between the fungus and its host and how it transforms from a harmless microbe into a deadly pathogen.


Contact: Matt Hodson
University of Minnesota

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of a molecule that initiates maturation of mammalian eggs can lead to more IVF pregnancies
2. Annual Drug Discovery Conferences Being Held in Boston MA, Spring 2012
3. Discovery provides blueprint for new drugs that can inhibit hepatitis C virus
4. Unexpected discovery reveals a new mechanism for how the cerebellum extracts signal from noise
5. Discovery offers insight into treating viral stomach flu
6. Breast cancer risk gene discovery fast tracked by new technology
7. Tales from the crypt lead researchers to cancer discovery
8. New discovery may lead to effective prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host dsease
9. Stomata development in plants unraveled -- a valuable discovery for environmental research
10. Discovery reveals chromosomes organize into yarns
11. Bacteria discovery could lead to antibiotics alternatives
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 Munich, Germany ... Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye ... , so that they can be quantitatively analyzed ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s ... from mobile eye tracking videos created with SMI,s ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... DUBLIN , Oct. 23, 2015 Research ... of the "Global Voice Recognition Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... --> --> The global voice recognition ... during 2014-2019. --> ... 2015-2019, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of 2015.  ... Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office to ... and Mexico , with the establishment ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model ... Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View ... years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders ... Israel time, at the law offices of Goldfarb Seligman ... Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel . ... to the Board of Directors; , election of Liat ... an amendment to certain terms of options granted to our Chief Executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: