Diversity among strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii as revealed by a sequence analysis of multiple genes and a chemotype analysis of capsular polysaccharide

Microbiol Immunol. 2001;45(11):757-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2001.tb01312.x.


We demonstrated the diversity of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii strains by a sequence analysis of multiple genes: (i) the intergenic spacer (IGS) 1 and 2 regions of the rRNA gene; (ii) the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, including 5.8S of the rRNA gene; (iii) TOP1 (topoisomerase); and (iv) CAP59. In these studies, we compared C. neoformans var. gattii with varieties grubii, and neoformans of C. neoformans. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that both C. neoformans var. grubii and C neoformans var. neoformans are monophyletic, but C. neoformans var. gattii showed polyphyletic. C. neoformans var. gattii can be divided into three phylogenetic groups, I, II, and III, with high bootstrap support. Phylogenetic group I contains serotype B and C strains, and groups II and III include serotype B strains. Because the serotype B strains of C. neoformans var. gattii exhibited more genetic divergence, the serological characteristics and chemotypes of their capsular polysaccharide were further investigated. No remarkable difference among the serotype B strains was found in the reactivities to factor serum 5, which is specific for serotype B. The NMR spectra of the capsular polysaccharide from serotype B strains could be divided into three characteristic patterns, but the chemical shifts were very similar. These results suggested that the serotype B strain of C. neoformans var. gattii has more genetic diversity than the serotype C strain of C. neoformans var. gattii or the varieties grubii and neoformans of C. neoformans, but there was no correlation between genotype and chemotype.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Base Sequence
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / chemistry
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / classification*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Intergenic / analysis
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • CAP59 protein, Cryptococcus neoformans
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Fungal Proteins