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Sustainable Agrifood Production Seminars

Genotype and phenotype diversity of Candida tropicalis isolates



Genotype and phenotype diversity of Candida tropicalis isolates
João Oliveira-Pacheco1,2*, Caoimhe E. O’Brien1* and Geraldine Butler1

1 School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
2 GreenUPorto – Research Centre on Sustainable Agrifood Production & DGAOT, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua da Agrária 747, 4485-646 Vairão, Portugal
*These authors contributed equally to the work
 
Candida tropicalis is a human pathogen that primarily infects the immunocompromised. Whereas the genome of one isolate, C. tropicalis MYA-3404, was originally sequenced in 2009, there have been no large-scale, multi-isolate studies of the genetic and phenotypic diversity of this species. Here, we used whole genome sequencing and phenotyping to characterize 77 isolates C. tropicalis isolates from clinical and environmental sources from a variety of locations. We show that most C. tropicalis isolates are diploids with approximately 2 - 6 heterozygous variants per kilobase. The genomes are relatively stable, with few aneuploidies. However, we identified one highly homozygous isolate and six isolates of C. tropicalis with much higher heterozygosity levels ranging from 36 - 49 heterozygous variants per kilobase. Our analyses show that the heterozygous isolates represent two different hybrid lineages, where the hybrids share one parent (A) with most other C. tropicalis isolates, but the second parent (B or C) differs by at least 4% at the genome level. Four of the sequenced isolates descend from an AB hybridization, and two from an AC hybridization. The hybrids are MTLa/α heterozygotes. Hybridization, or mating, between different parents is therefore common in the evolutionary history of C. tropicalis. The new hybrids were predominantly found in environmental niches, including from soil. Hybridization is therefore unlikely to be associated with virulence. In addition, we used genotype-phenotype correlation and CRISPR-Cas9 editing to identify a genome variant that results in the inability of one isolate to utilize certain branched-chain amino acids as a sole nitrogen source.

 

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