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Keywords:

  • pathogenic yeast;
  • Candida ;
  • virulence genes;
  • chromosome polymorphism;
  • genome rearrangements

Abstract

The yeast pathogen Candida glabrata is the second most frequent cause of Candida infections. However, from the phylogenetic point of view, C. glabrata is much closer to Saccharomyces cerevisiae than to Candida albicans. Apparently, this yeast has relatively recently changed its life style and become a successful opportunistic pathogen. Recently, several C. glabrata sister species, among them clinical and environmental isolates, have had their genomes characterized. Also, hundreds of C. glabrata clinical isolates have been characterized for their genomes. These isolates display enormous genomic plasticity. The number and size of chromosomes vary drastically, as well as intra- and interchromosomal segmental duplications occur frequently. The observed genome alterations could affect phenotypic properties and thus help to adapt to the highly variable and harsh habitats this yeast finds in different human patients and their tissues. Further genome sequencing of pathogenic isolates will provide a valuable tool to understand the mechanisms behind genome dynamics and help to elucidate the genes contributing to the virulence potential.