Electrophoretic karyotype studies have shown that clinical isolates of Candida albicans have extensive chromosome length polymorphisms. Chromosome translocation is one of the causes of karyotypic variation. Chromosome translocation events have been shown to occur very frequently at or near the major repeat sequence (MRS) on chromosomes. The MRS consists of the repeated sequences RB2, RPS and HOK, and the repeated sequences are considered to be the template for recombination. To investigate which element of the MRS is important for chromosome translocation, we constructed three cassettes, each containing a URA blaster and sequences homologous to one of the repeats, for insertion into the MRS region on the chromosomes. The ura3 strain STN22u2, which shows a stable, standard karyotype, was transformed with each construct. Insertion events with each cassette occurred at almost all chromosomes. Insertion into the RB2 repeat, but not into the RPS repeat, was accompanied by chromosome translocation in some transformants: chromosome translocations between chromosomes R and 7 and chromosomes 1 and 7 were found, as well as deletions of 7A and 7C from chromosome 7. We conclude that the insertion at the RB2 region may initiate chromosome translocation in C. albicans.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.