Candida albicans produces chlamydospores, which can be used as a diagnostic tool for species identification. It has been suggested that these chlamydospores are degenerate spores. If so, then their production might be linked to the mating loci, and clinical strains that are homozygous for the C. albicans mating locus MTL may be altered in chlamydospore formation, which could cause problems in diagnostics and species identification. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae diploid cells, the heterodimeric transcriptional repressor formed by the products of the mating genes MATa1 and MATalpha2 is an important regulator of sporulation. It was therefore of interest to determine if the disruptions of the MATa1 and MATalpha2 homologs in C. albicans, MTLa1 and MTLalpha2, result in inhibition of chlamydospore formation. Laboratory strains containing disruptions of either the entire MTL locus or specific genes within the locus were assayed for their ability to form chlamydospores. Clinical strains that are homozygous for one of the two MTL loci were also assayed. No change in chlamydospore formation was seen in these strains compared to the standard laboratory strain.
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