Loss of heterozygosity in commensal isolates of the asexual diploid yeast Candida albicans

Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Feb;46(2):159-68. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.11.005. Epub 2008 Dec 21.


Candida albicans is a commensal and the most frequent fungal pathogen of humans. One mechanism of genetic variation in this diploid asexual yeast involves loss of heterozygosity (LOH). LOH events occur upon infection and contribute to the acquisition of antifungal resistance in patients. In contrast, little is known about the nature and extent of LOH events during commensalism. Using a combination of single nucleotide polymorphism typing, positional transcript profiling and karyotyping, we have characterized related C. albicans commensal isolates that differ by LOH events. Most of these LOH events encompassed the entirety of the chromosome or a large region extending to the telomere, suggesting chromosome loss or mitotic recombination/break-induced replication events, respectively. They were frequently accompanied by karyotype alterations such as chromosome length polymorphism and copy number variations at other chromosomes. These results demonstrate the high plasticity of the C. albicans genome during commensalism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Candida albicans / physiology
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics
  • Diploidy
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombination, Genetic