Navigation Links
Photo: Scientists Complete Genome Sequence of Fungus Responsible for Dandruff, Skin Disorders

Research Findings to Impact Human Health, Agricultural Science

CINCINNATI, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, scientists from P&G Beauty announced that they successfully sequenced the complete genome for Malassezia globosa (M. globosa), a naturally occurring fungus responsible for the onset of dandruff and other skin conditions in humans. Results of the genome sequencing are published in today's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis affect more than 50 percent of the human population. Despite the role of Malassezia in these and other common skin diseases, including eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, little was known about the fungus at the molecular level until this study. In addition, understanding of Malassezia's genetic make-up may help scientists reevaluate the parameters that have historically been used to classify fungal organisms.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

M. globosa, which is among the smallest of the sequenced free-living fungal organisms, is comprised of just around 4,285 genes - roughly 300 times fewer base pairs than are found in the human genome. A common fungus that lives on the skin of humans, M. globosa feeds off of fatty external lipids. Humans naturally secrete sebum and other lipids onto the scalp, creating a prime environment for M. globosa to thrive. The average human can host to up to 10 million M. globosa. Symptoms of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis occur when three factors come together: genetic susceptibility for an inflammatory response, the presence of sebum on the scalp and the presence of M. globosa.

"A complete genomic sequencing of a Malassezia genome opens tremendous opportunities for researchers to understand the interactions of fungi and humans," said Thomas Dawson, Ph.D., a scientist at P&G Beauty and the principal author of the PNAS study. "It's amazing that the understanding of the genetic make-up of a microscopic organism can have broad implications ranging from human health to agricultural science."

Research and Treatment Implications

The family of Malassezia species affects a wide range of human health issues. While M. globosa is related to a host of irritant conditions, other types of Malassezia have been found to be particularly threatening to individuals with early and compromised immune systems, including infants and those suffering from autoimmune diseases. This fungus family also plays a role in skin and respiratory allergies.

Beyond human health, these findings have agricultural implications. M. globosa is also very closely related to multiple common plant pathogenic fungi that cause disease on corn, wheat, and other important food source crops. Comparative genomic studies are now underway that could lead to new strategies for managing these related crop diseases.

"What started as an effort to unlock the mechanism behind dandruff has opened the scientific doors for the development and enhancement of treatments for dandruff and many more Malassezia-related conditions," said James Schwartz, Ph.D. and Research Fellow at P&G Beauty. "These advances were made possible through collaboration among multiple institutions and subject experts, and we're excited that our findings may benefit multiple disciplines and specialties."

Malassezia is a culprit in conditions mild to severe, but almost nothing was understood at the molecular level before this research. The genetic sequencing of M. globosa has expanded the range of potential treatment targets from a few observational characteristics to now more than 4,000 molecular targets.

Science Behind the Sequencing

The genomic sequencing was made possible by DNA sequencing technologies developed within the last decade. Scientists previously tested many different compounds in a "trial and error" style to find ways to treat and reduce dandruff symptoms. In fact, due to the earlier use of less-accurate culture-based technologies, scientists incorrectly assumed for years that dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis were caused by a different type of fungus (Malassezia furfur). With the use of molecular science, the team uncovered the correct fungal species that was the primary cause of dandruff, eventually leading to the complete sequencing.

For more information on the sequencing of the M. globosa genome or about P&G Beauty, please visit

P&G Beauty products help make beauty dreams real and grooming enjoyable everyday for millions of women and men worldwide. With more than 100 brands available in nearly 130 countries, P&G Beauty delivered sales of more than $22 billion in fiscal year 2006/07, making it a leading global beauty company. P&G Beauty offers trusted brands with leading technology to meet the full complement of beauty and grooming needs, including Pantene(R), Olay(R), Head and Shoulders(R), Max Factor(R), Cover Girl(R), DDF(R), Sassoon Professional(R), Wellaflex(R), Rejoice(R), Sebastian Professional(R), Herbal Essences(R), Koleston(R), Clairol Professional(R), Nice 'n Easy(R), Venus(R), Gillette(R), SK-II(R), Wella Professionals(R), Christina Aguilera fragrance, Escada(R), Hugo(R), Boss(R) and Lacoste(R) fragrances. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G (NYSE: PG) and its brands.

Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Photo: Tanger Outlet Center Shoppers Nationwide can Choose Pink to Fight Breast Cancer
2. Photo: Kyphon and the X-STOP(R) IPD(R) Procedure to be Featured on American Health Radio on Monday, September 24, 2007
3. Video and Photo: Leading CEOs Launch Alliance With American Red Cross to Strengthen Nations Preparedness for Disasters
4. Video and Photo: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Ad Council Join NFL to Combat Childhood Obesity
5. Photo: Introducing a New Line of Baby and Toddler Shirts that Can Help Protect Innocent Babies During Flu Season
6. Video and Photo: Tasigna(R) Receives US Approval Providing New Hope to Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients With Resistance or Intolerance to Existing Therapies
7. Photo: New York Goes Orange for Pumpkin Festival and Lupus Awareness Month
8. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
9. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
10. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
11. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... On Tuesday 27 Oct 2015, ... educate the personnel on spinal decompression therapy and offer his professional help. , ... The benefits come from creating negative intradiscal pressure which is conducive to retraction ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically integrated ... allows for easier packing and organizing of items into one big, portable jar. , ... Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing and Desa Industries Inc ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ME (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal ... reports a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, ... than women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an article ... a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that ... (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial of coverage ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the United States, today announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in ... drinks category. The Company also announced that it has been selected as a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... and PITTSBURGH , Dec. ... announced that it expects to be the first to ... funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir Disoproxyl Fumarate 300 ... for $99 per patient, per year. Mylan partnered with ... The significantly reduced price could generate savings of tens ...
(Date:12/1/2015)...  Six months of adjunctive metformin therapy does not improve ... to new research from T1D Exchange and funded ... beneficial effect on measures of obesity, including weight and BMI. ... Journal of the American Medical Association , are from the ... on overweight and obese adolescents with type 1 diabetes. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 01, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Europe ... E. Coli, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, ... their offering. --> ... the "2016 Europe Enteric Disease ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: