Phenotypic consequences of a spontaneous loss of heterozygosity in a common laboratory strain of Candida albicans

Toni Ciudad, Meleah Hickman, Alberto Bellido, Judith Berman, Germán Larriba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By testing the susceptibility to DNA damaging agents of several Candida albicans mutant strains derived from the commonly used laboratory strain, CAI4, we uncovered sensitivity to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) in CAI4 and its derivatives, but not in CAF2-1. This sensitivity is not a result of URA3 disruption because the phenotype was not restored after URA3 reintroduction. Rather, we found that homozygosis of a short region of chromosome 3R (Chr3R), which is naturally heterozygous in the MMS-resistant-related strains CAF4-2 and CAF2-1, confers MMS sensitivity and modulates growth polarization in response to MMS. Furthermore, induction of homozygosity in this region in CAF2-1 or CAF4-2 resulted in MMS sensitivity. We identified 11 genes by SNP/comparative genomic hybridization containing only the a alleles in all the MMS-sensitive strains. Four candidate genes, SNF5, POL1, orf19.5854.1, and MBP1, were analyzed by generating hemizygous configurations in CAF2-1 and CAF4-2 for each allele of all four genes. Only hemizygous MBP1a/mbp1b::SAT1-FLIP strains became MMS sensitive, indicating that MBP1a in the homo- or hemizygosis state was sufficient to account for the MMS-sensitive phenotype. In yeast, Mbp1 regulates G1/S genes involved in DNA repair. A second region of homozygosis on Chr2L increased MMS sensitivity in CAI4 (Chr3R homozygous) but not CAF4-2 (Chr3R heterozygous). This is the first example of sign epistasis in C. albicans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1176
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Candida albicans
  • Growth polarization
  • LOH
  • MBP1
  • MMS susceptibility

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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