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Mechanisms of genome evolution in Candida albicans

Ene, Iuliana V, Bennett, Richard J, Anderson, Matthew Z
Current opinion in microbiology 2019 v.52 pp. 47-54
Candida albicans, chromosome aberrations, diploidy, drug resistance, evolution, fungi, genome, genomics, humans, loss of heterozygosity, niches, phenotypic variation, point mutation, population structure, secondary infection
The fungus Candida albicans exists as a prevalent commensal and an important opportunistic pathogen that can infect multiple niches of its human host. Recent studies have examined the diploid genome of C. albicans by performing both short-term microevolution studies and comparative genomics on collections of clinical isolates. Common mechanisms driving genome dynamics include accumulation of point mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events, large-scale chromosomal rearrangements, and even ploidy change, with important consequences for both drug resistance and host adaptation. Evidence for recombination between C. albicans lineages also highlights a role for (para)sex in shaping the species population structure. Ongoing work will continue to define the contributions of genome evolution to phenotypic variation and the role of host pressures in driving adaptive processes.