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The parasexual lifestyle of Candida albicans
- Bennett, Richard J
- Current opinion in microbiology 2015 v.28 pp. 10-17
- Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, animal pathogenic fungi, biofilm, chromosome elimination, coevolution, epigenetics, humans, lifestyle, meiosis, models, parasexual cycle, phenotype, yeasts
- Candida albicans is both a prevalent human commensal and the most commonly encountered human fungal pathogen. This lifestyle is dependent on the ability of the fungus to undergo rapid genetic and epigenetic changes, often in response to specific environmental cues. A parasexual cycle in C. albicans has been defined that includes several unique properties when compared to the related model yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Novel features include strict regulation of mating via a phenotypic switch, enhanced conjugation within a sexual biofilm, and a program of concerted chromosome loss in place of a conventional meiosis. It is expected that several of these adaptations co-evolved with the ability of C. albicans to colonize the mammalian host.