Evidence for Mating of the "Asexual" Yeast Candida albicans in a Mammalian Host

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Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 307-310
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.307

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Since its classification nearly 80 years ago, the human pathogenCandida albicans has been designated as an asexual yeast. In this report, we describe the construction of C. albicansstrains that were subtly altered at the mating-type–like (MTL) locus, a cluster of genes that resembles the mating-type loci of other fungi. These derivatives were capable of mating after inoculation into a mammalian host. C. albicansis a diploid organism, but most of the mating products isolated from a mouse host were tetrasomic for the two chromosomes that could be rigorously monitored and, overall, exhibited substantially higher than 2n DNA content. These observations demonstrated that C. albicans can recombine sexually.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ajohnson{at}

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