Variations of Candida albicans electrophoretic karyotypes

J Bacteriol. 1991 Oct;173(20):6586-96. doi: 10.1128/jb.173.20.6586-6596.1991.


We previously described 14 rare spontaneous morphological mutants of Candida albicans that were associated with chromosomal aberrations (E. P. Rustchenko-Bulgac, F. Sherman, and J. B. Hicks, J. Bacteriol. 172:1276-1283, 1990). Improved conditions for separation of chromosomes, as well as hybridization probes, were used to investigate the variation of karyotypes of clinical isolates and additional morphological mutants. All 23 newly analyzed morphological mutants, representing frequently occurring and highly unstable colonial forms, had a variety of altered karyotypes. All chromosomal changes were similar to those previously observed in mutants m1 to m14. In this study, I particularly noted that the most frequent changes involved the long chromosome VIII, which carries ribosomal DNA cistrons. Two rates of instability were uncovered by analyzing the progenies from two highly unstable mutants. An unstable mutant proved to be able to continuously produce a large number of altered karyotypes that could result in a wide variety of different phenotypes. Furthermore, all four independent clinical isolates, FC18, C9, 3153A, and WO-1, common laboratory strains, revealed different electrophoretic karyotypes and distinct colonial morphologies on a synthetic medium, similar to spontaneous mutants. The differences of electrophoretic karyotypes observed among clinical isolates resembled the changes found among different kinds of spontaneous morphological mutants. These findings contribute to the understanding of natural karyotypic variability and are in agreement with the hypothesis that chromosomal alterations observed spontaneously under laboratory conditions provide this amictic species with genetic variability in nature.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • Candida albicans / genetics*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / chemistry*
  • DNA Probes / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Electrophoresis
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Karyotyping*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal