Simultaneous identification of molecular and mating types within the Cryptococcus species complex by PCR-RFLP analysis

J Med Microbiol. 2008 Dec;57(Pt 12):1481-1490. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.2008/003665-0.


The Cryptococcus species complex consists of two species, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, which cause systemic infections in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients. Both species have a bipolar mating system, with mating type (MAT) alpha being predominant in clinical and environmental isolates. The strains of the Cryptococcus species complex have been divided into eight major molecular types, which show differences in epidemiology, biology and pathogenicity. In this study, two PCR-RFLP analyses, based on the CAP1 and GEF1 genes, which are both located at the MAT locus, were developed for simultaneous identification of the molecular and mating types of isolates of the Cryptococcus species complex. The molecular and mating types of all 144 cryptococcal isolates, including rare subtypes, were successfully determined by both PCR-RFLP approaches. Pattern analysis of the AD hybrids revealed that the serotype A MATa allele in strains of AaDalpha derived from genotype VNB, whereas the serotype A MATalpha allele among strains of AalphaDa and AalphaDalpha derived from molecular type VNI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptococcosis / epidemiology
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology
  • Cryptococcus / classification*
  • Cryptococcus / genetics
  • Cryptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Cryptococcus / physiology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / classification*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / physiology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mycological Typing Techniques*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Serotyping
  • Species Specificity


  • Fungal Proteins