Cytoplasmic alkalinization during germ tube formation in Candida albicans

J Gen Microbiol. 1988 May;134(5):1079-87. doi: 10.1099/00221287-134-5-1079.


Weak acids were used to measure the internal pH of yeast cells of Candida albicans that had been induced to form buds or germ tubes. Under conditions that supported germ tube formation the internal pH rose from around 6.8 to over 8.0 after 30 min in two different induction media. Internal pH measured by 31P NMR confirmed this pattern and also showed that the internal pH fell to around 7.0 prior to the outgrowth of germ tubes. Conditions which led to budding induced less cytoplasmic alkalinization. This alkalinization was brought about when cells were inoculated into media of neutral pH and at an increased temperature. Increasing the temperature of the medium augmented the alkalinization of the cytoplasm induced by raising the external pH. Strains of C. albicans defective in the ability to produce germ tubes did not show this dramatic cytoplasmic alkalinization under conditions which normally supported filamentous growth. The raising of internal pH may be due to the activation of the plasma membrane proton-pumping ATPase since diethylstilboestrol inhibited the cytoplasmic alkalinization and germ tube formation without causing irreversible loss of cell viability. The results show that the induction of the dimorphic transition in this organism is accompanied by a steep rise in internal pH. It is not known whether these changes are the cause or consequence of morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Diethylstilbestrol / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Temperature


  • Diethylstilbestrol