A 1059-bp Sau3A fragment, designated Candida albicans repetitive element 2 (CARE-2), was isolated from the genome of the pathogenic yeast, C. albicans. CARE-2 DNA was detected on several C. albicans chromosomes separated by transverse alternating-field electrophoresis. A high degree of interstrain variation in the pattern of hybridizing bands were observed by Southern blot analysis, with a minimum of 10-14 copies of CARE-2 per strain. A low frequency of new CARE-2 polymorphisms was observed over time for three strains grown at 25 degrees C or 37 degrees C. No new CARE-2 polymorphisms were observed from two naturally occurring switch phenotypes. To localize repeated DNA, oligodeoxyribonucleotide probes, each representing a different region of CARE-2, were hybridized to genomic blots. A lower number of copies were observed 5' and 3' to a 600-bp region of CARE-2. Nucleotide (nt) sequence analysis of CARE-2 DNA shows the element is characterized by six perfect direct repeats 6 bp in length and shows no significant DNA similarity with any known nt sequence.