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    Candida glabrata is the second most common etiological cause of worldwide systemic candidiasis in adult patients. Genome analysis of 68 isolates from 8 hospitals across Scotland, together with 83 global isolates, revealed insights into the population genetics and evolution of C. glabrata. Clinical isolates of C. glabrata from across Scotland are highly genetically diverse, including at least 19 separate sequence types that have been recovered previously in globally diverse locations, and 1 newly discovered sequence type. Several sequence types had evidence for ancestral recombination, suggesting transmission between distinct geographical regions has coincided with genetic exchange arising in new clades. Three isolates were missing MATα1, potentially representing a second mating type. Signatures of positive selection were identified in every sequence type including enrichment for epithelial adhesins thought to facilitate fungal adhesin to human epithelial cells. In patent microevolution was identified from 7 sets of recurrent cases of candidiasis, revealing an enrichment for nonsynonymous and frameshift indels in cell surface proteins. Microevolution within patients also affected epithelial adhesins genes, and several genes involved in drug resistance including the ergosterol synthesis gene ERG4 and the echinocandin target FKS1/2, the latter coinciding with a marked drop in fluconazole minimum inhibitory concentration. In addition to nuclear genome diversity, the C. glabrata mitochondrial genome was particularly diverse, with reduced conserved sequence and conserved protein-encoding genes in all nonreference ST15 isolates. Together, this study highlights the genetic diversity within the C. glabrata population that may impact virulence and drug resistance, and 2 major mechanisms generating this diversity: microevolution and genetic exchange/recombination. © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Genetics Society of America.


    Nicolas Helmstetter, Aleksandra D Chybowska, Christopher Delaney, Alessandra Da Silva Dantas, Hugh Gifford, Theresa Wacker, Carol Munro, Adilia Warris, Brian Jones, Christina A Cuomo, Duncan Wilson, Gordon Ramage, Rhys A Farrer. Population genetics and microevolution of clinical Candida glabrata reveals recombinant sequence types and hyper-variation within mitochondrial genomes, virulence genes, and drug targets. Genetics. 2022 May 05;221(1)

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    PMID: 35199143

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