Isolation of a petite mutant from a histidine auxotroph of Candida albicans and its characterization

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Respiration-deficient (petite) mutations have been induced in various yeasts, which are categorized as petite-positive. Candida albicans was classified among the petite-negative yeasts. Since then, a few reports have appeared, describing the isolation of petite mutants in C. albicans.

We report in the present study on the isolation of a petite mutant of C. albicans-SAR1. This mutant was isolated from a histidine auxotroph of C. albicans after mutagenesis with N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, thus our petite mutant carries a double mutation. SAR1 was characterized morphologically, biochemically and ultrastructurally. The results revealed differences from the wild type in respect to morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics. Electron microscopy showed that the cells of the petite mutant contain only very few mitochondria that looked ‘thread like' without any cristae. The significance of the mutation in the virulence of the mutant vs. that of the wild-type is being assessed.

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