Gene flow contributes to diversification of the major fungal pathogen Candida albicans

Jeanne Ropars 1, 2 Corinne Maufrais 3 Dorothée Diogo 2 Marina Marcet-Houben 4, 5 Aurélie Perin 2 Natacha Sertour 6, 2 Kevin Mosca 2 Emmanuelle Permal 7 Guillaume Laval 8 Christiane Bouchier 9, 10 Laurence Ma 9, 10 Katja Schwartz 11 Kerstin Voelz 12 Robin May 12 Julie Poulain 13 Christophe Battail 13 Patrick Wincker 13 Andrew Borman 14 Anuradha Chowdhary 15 Shangrong Fan 16 Soo Hyun Kim 17 Patrice Le Pape 18 Orazio Romeo 19, 20 Jong Hee Shin 17 Toni Gabaldon 21, 22 Gavin Sherlock 11 Marie-Elisabeth Bougnoux 23, 24 Christophe D’enfert 2, *
Abstract : Elucidating population structure and levels of genetic diversity and recombination is necessary to understand the evolution and adaptation of species. Candida albicans is the second most frequent agent of human fungal infections worldwide, causing high-mortality rates. Here we present the genomic sequences of 182 C. albicans isolates collected worldwide, including commensal isolates, as well as ones responsible for superficial and invasive infections, constituting the largest dataset to date for this major fungal pathogen. Although, C. albicans shows a predominantly clonal population structure, we find evidence of gene flow between previously known and newly identified genetic clusters, supporting the occurrence of (para)sexuality in nature. A highly clonal lineage, which experimentally shows reduced fitness, has undergone pseudogenization in genes required for virulence and morphogenesis, which may explain its niche restriction. Candida albicans thus takes advantage of both clonality and gene flow to diversify.
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Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 9 (1), pp.2253. 〈10.1038/s41467-018-04787-4〉
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Jeanne Ropars, Corinne Maufrais, Dorothée Diogo, Marina Marcet-Houben, Aurélie Perin, et al.. Gene flow contributes to diversification of the major fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 9 (1), pp.2253. 〈10.1038/s41467-018-04787-4〉. 〈pasteur-01815656〉

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