Segregant-defective heterokaryons of Candida albicans
Weber, David A.
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Current genetics. 1986; 10(9): 685-93.
Heterokaryons (hets) of the asexual, pathogenic yeast Candida albicans obtained by fusing protoplasts of complementing auxotrophic strains generate large numbers of parental-type auxotrophic monokaryons by random assortment of single nuclei into blastospores, and smaller numbers of monokaryons bearing hybrid nuclei formed through either karyogamy or the transfer of genetic material from one het nucleus to another. Het populations grown at 30 degrees C or 37 degrees C contain high frequencies (approx. 5%-10%) of two kinds of stable variants peculiar specifically for segregation of parental-type monokaryons: NS variants produce inviable auxotrophic monokaryons of one or both parental classes while AT variants yield parental-type monokaryons which grow very slowly. Variant frequencies are not affected by the wild-type strain background of hets, or the auxotrophies used to force heterokaryosis. However, both kinds of variants are induced by growth at 25 degrees C or by treatments with certain chemical or physical metabolic inhibitors. Evidence is presented that variant nuclei of independent origins carry different nutritionally irreparable recessive lethal (NS) or debilitating (AT) defects acquired in the course of actual or potential internuclear transfers of genetic material within het cells. The high incidence of variants, therefore, indicates considerable intrinsic genetic instability among het nuclei. Significances of these observations for parasexual genetic analyses of C. albicans and other yeasts through protoplast fusions are considered.
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