Population structure of Candida albicans, a member of the human flora, as determined by microsatellite loci

Infect Genet Evol. 2002 Oct;2(1):57-68. doi: 10.1016/s1567-1348(02)00088-6.


This study examines the macrogeographic population structure of Candida albicans, a yeast commensal of humans, through a population genetic analysis of 5 microsatellite loci in 13 cities. The populations were predominantly clonal with some recombination. About 5% of the genetic variation is between populations and the overall pattern is one of intermediate differentiation. We did not find a single widespread genotype but instead found high, macrogeographic gene flow in these clinical populations; the most common genotype was limited to Atlanta and San Francisco. Homogeneity is evident within large geographic regions, such as Europe, Asia, and the USA, and isolation by distance accounted for 39% of the variation observed. Overall gene flow for a member of the human flora is variable but can be extensive, with an average of 4.5 migrants per generation (N(m)). Eastern hemisphere populations were less divergent than those of the Americas and Caribbean, consistent with the expansion of humans out of the eastern hemisphere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Candida albicans / classification
  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Phylogeny
  • Statistics as Topic