Author(s): Noble SM, Johnson AD
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Abstract Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen and causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Nevertheless, the basic principles of C. albicans pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Of central importance to the study of this organism is the ability to generate homozygous knockout mutants and to analyze them in a mammalian model of pathogenesis. C. albicans is diploid, and current strategies for gene deletion typically involve repeated use of the URA3 selectable marker. These procedures are often time-consuming and inefficient. Moreover, URA3 expression levels-which are susceptible to chromosome position effects-can themselves affect virulence, thereby complicating analysis of strains constructed with URA3 as a selectable marker. Here, we describe a set of newly developed reference strains (leu2Delta/leu2Delta, his1Delta/his1Delta; arg4Delta/arg4Delta, his1Delta/his1Delta; and arg4Delta/arg4Delta, leu2Delta/leu2Delta, his1Delta/his1Delta) that exhibit wild-type or nearly wild-type virulence in a mouse model. We also describe new disruption marker cassettes and a fusion PCR protocol that permit rapid and highly efficient generation of homozygous knockout mutations in the new C. albicans strains. We demonstrate these procedures for two well-studied genes, TUP1 and EFG1, as well as a novel gene, RBD1. These tools should permit large-scale genetic analysis of this important human pathogen.
This article was published in Eukaryot Cell
and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology