Recapitulation of the sexual cycle of the primary fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii: Implications for an outbreak on Vancouver Island, Canada

Fraser, James A., Subaran, Ryan L., Nichols, Connie B. and Heitman, Joseph (2003) Recapitulation of the sexual cycle of the primary fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii: Implications for an outbreak on Vancouver Island, Canada. Eukaryotic Cell, 2 5: 1036-1045. doi:10.1128/EC.2.5.1036-1045.2003


Author Fraser, James A.
Subaran, Ryan L.
Nichols, Connie B.
Heitman, Joseph
Title Recapitulation of the sexual cycle of the primary fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii: Implications for an outbreak on Vancouver Island, Canada
Formatted title
Recapitulation of the Sexual Cycle of the Primary Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii: Implications for an Outbreak on Vancouver Island, Canada
Journal name Eukaryotic Cell   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1535-9778
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1128/EC.2.5.1036-1045.2003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 2
Issue 5
Start page 1036
End page 1045
Total pages 10
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Language eng
Subject 06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical and Health Sciences
Formatted abstract
Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen that exists as three distinct varieties or sibling species: the predominantly opportunistic pathogens C. neoformans var. neoformans (serotype D) and C. neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) and the primary pathogen C. neoformans var. gattii (serotypes B and C). While serotypes A and D are cosmopolitan, serotypes B and C are typically restricted to tropical regions. However, serotype B isolates of C. neoformans var. gattii have recently caused an outbreak on Vancouver Island in Canada, highlighting the threat of this fungus and its capacity to infect immunocompetent individuals. Here we report a large-scale analysis of the mating abilities of serotype B and C isolates from diverse sources and identify unusual strains that mate robustly and are suitable for further genetic analysis. Unlike most isolates, which are of both the a and α mating types but are predominantly sterile, the majority of the Vancouver outbreak strains are exclusively of the α mating type and the majority are fertile. In an effort to enhance mating of these isolates, we identified and disrupted the CRG1 gene encoding the GTPase-activating protein involved in attenuating pheromone response. crg1 mutations dramatically increased mating efficiency and enabled mating with otherwise sterile isolates. Our studies provide a genetic and molecular foundation for further studies of this primary pathogen and reveal that the Vancouver Island outbreak may be attributable to a recent recombination event.
Keyword Microbiology
Mating-type Locus
A Mata Strain
Saccharomyces-cerevisiae
Serotype
Protein
Gene
Virulence
Australia
Alpha
Yeast
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
 
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Created: Thu, 20 Sep 2007, 04:48:24 EST