Chromosome 1 trisomy compromises the virulence of Candida albicans

Mol Microbiol. 2004 Jan;51(2):551-65. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03852.x.


Although increases in chromosome copy number typically have devastating developmental consequences in mammals, fungal cells such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae seem to tolerate trisomies without obvious impairment of growth. Here, we demonstrate that two commonly used laboratory strains of the yeast Candida albicans, CAI-4 and SGY-243, can carry three copies of chromosome 1. Although the trisomic strains grow well in the laboratory, Ura+ derivatives of CAI-4, carrying three copies of chromosome 1, are avirulent in the intravenously inoculated mouse model, unlike closely related strains carrying two copies of chromosome 1. Furthermore, changes in chromosome copy number occur during growth in an animal host and during growth in the presence of growth-inhibiting drugs. These results suggest that chromosome copy number variation provides a mechanism for genetic variation in this asexual organism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Candida albicans / classification
  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Kinetics
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Virulence / genetics*


  • DNA Primers