Farnesol restores wild-type colony morphology to 96% of Candida albicans colony morphology variants recovered following treatment with mutagens

Ellen C. Jensen, Jacob M. Hornby, Nicole E. Pagliaccetti, Chuleeon M. Wolter, Kenneth W. Nickerson, Audrey L. Atkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Candida albicans is a diploid fungus that undergoes a morphological transition between budding yeast, hyphal, and pseudohyphal forms. The morphological transition is strongly correlated with virulence and is regulated in part by quorum sensing. Candida albicans produces and secretes farnesol that regulates the yeast to mycelia morphological transition. Mutants that fail to synthesize or respond to farnesol could be locked in the filamentous mode. To test this hypothesis, a collection of C. albicans mutants were isolated that have altered colony morphologies indicative of the presence of hyphal cells under environmental conditions where C. albicans normally grows only as yeasts. All mutants were characterized for their ability to respond to farnesol. Of these, 95.9% fully or partially reverted to wildtype morphology on yeast malt (YM) agar plates supplemented with farnesol. All mutants that respond to farnesol regained their hyphal morphology when restreaked on YM plates without farnesol. The observation that farnesol remedial mutants are so common (95.9%) relative to mutants that fail to respond to farnesol (4.1%) suggests that farnesol activates and (or) induces a pathway that can override many of the morphogenesis defects in these mutants. Additionally, 9 mutants chosen at random were screened for farnesol production. Two mutants failed to produce detectable levels of farnesol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalGenome
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Candida albicans
  • Farnesol-remedial mutants
  • Farnesol-sensing mutants
  • Farnesol-synthesis mutants
  • Morphological transition
  • Quorum sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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