July 19, 2019  |  

Multiple origins of the pathogenic yeast Candida orthopsilosis by separate hybridizations between two parental species.

Mating between different species produces hybrids that are usually asexual and stuck as diploids, but can also lead to the formation of new species. Here, we report the genome sequences of 27 isolates of the pathogenic yeast Candida orthopsilosis. We find that most isolates are diploid hybrids, products of mating between two unknown parental species (A and B) that are 5% divergent in sequence. Isolates vary greatly in the extent of homogenization between A and B, making their genomes a mosaic of highly heterozygous regions interspersed with homozygous regions. Separate phylogenetic analyses of SNPs in the A- and B-derived portions of the genome produces almost identical trees of the isolates with four major clades. However, the presence of two mutually exclusive genotype combinations at the mating type locus, and recombinant mitochondrial genomes diagnostic of inter-clade mating, shows that the species C. orthopsilosis does not have a single evolutionary origin but was created at least four times by separate interspecies hybridizations between parents A and B. Older hybrids have lost more heterozygosity. We also identify two isolates with homozygous genomes derived exclusively from parent A, which are pure non-hybrid strains. The parallel emergence of the same hybrid species from multiple independent hybridization events is common in plant evolution, but is much less documented in pathogenic fungi.

July 19, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of two sequential Candida glabrata clinical isolates.

Candida glabrata is an important fungal pathogen which develops rapid antifungal resistance in treated patients. It is known that azole treatments lead to antifungal resistance in this fungal species and that multidrug efflux transporters are involved in this process. Specific mutations in the transcriptional regulator PDR1 result in upregulation of the transporters. In addition, we showed that the PDR1 mutations can contribute to enhance virulence in animal models. In this study, we were interested to compare genomes of two specific C. glabrata-related isolates, one of which was azole susceptible (DSY562) while the other was azole resistant (DSY565). DSY565 contained a PDR1 mutation (L280F) and was isolated after a time-lapse of 50 d of azole therapy. We expected that genome comparisons between both isolates could reveal additional mutations reflecting host adaptation or even additional resistance mechanisms. The PacBio technology used here yielded 14 major contigs (sizes 0.18-1.6 Mb) and mitochondrial genomes from both DSY562 and DSY565 isolates that were highly similar to each other. Comparisons of the clinical genomes with the published CBS138 genome indicated important genome rearrangements, but not between the clinical strains. Among the unique features, several retrotransposons were identified in the genomes of the investigated clinical isolates. DSY562 and DSY565 each contained a large set of adhesin-like genes (101 and 107, respectively), which exceed by far the number of reported adhesins (63) in the CBS138 genome. Comparison between DSY562 and DSY565 yielded 17 nonsynonymous SNPs (among which the was the expected PDR1 mutation) as well as small size indels in coding regions (11) but mainly in adhesin-like genes. The genomes contained a DNA mismatch repair allele of MSH2 known to be involved in the so-called hyper-mutator phenotype of this yeast species and the number of accumulated mutations between both clinical isolates is consistent with the presence of a MSH2 defect. In conclusion, this study is the first to compare genomes of C. glabrata sequential clinical isolates using the PacBio technology as an approach. The genomes of these isolates taken in the same patient at two different time points exhibited limited variations, even if submitted to the host pressure. Copyright © 2017 Vale-Silva et al.

July 19, 2019  |  

Population genomics shows no distinction between pathogenic Candida krusei and environmental Pichia kudriavzevii: One species, four names.

We investigated genomic diversity of a yeast species that is both an opportunistic pathogen and an important industrial yeast. Under the name Candida krusei, it is responsible for about 2% of yeast infections caused by Candida species in humans. Bloodstream infections with C. krusei are problematic because most isolates are fluconazole-resistant. Under the names Pichia kudriavzevii, Issatchenkia orientalis and Candida glycerinogenes, the same yeast, including genetically modified strains, is used for industrial-scale production of glycerol and succinate. It is also used to make some fermented foods. Here, we sequenced the type strains of C. krusei (CBS573T) and P. kudriavzevii (CBS5147T), as well as 30 other clinical and environmental isolates. Our results show conclusively that they are the same species, with collinear genomes 99.6% identical in DNA sequence. Phylogenetic analysis of SNPs does not segregate clinical and environmental isolates into separate clades, suggesting that C. krusei infections are frequently acquired from the environment. Reduced resistance of strains to fluconazole correlates with the presence of one gene instead of two at the ABC11-ABC1 tandem locus. Most isolates are diploid, but one-quarter are triploid. Loss of heterozygosity is common, including at the mating-type locus. Our PacBio/Illumina assembly of the 10.8 Mb CBS573T genome is resolved into 5 complete chromosomes, and was annotated using RNAseq support. Each of the 5 centromeres is a 35 kb gene desert containing a large inverted repeat. This species is a member of the genus Pichia and family Pichiaceae (the methylotrophic yeasts clade), and so is only distantly related to other pathogenic Candida species.

July 7, 2019  |  

Competition assays and physiological experiments of soil and phyllosphere yeasts identify Candida subhashii as a novel antagonist of filamentous fungi.

While recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies have enabled researchers to readily identify countless microbial species in soil, rhizosphere, and phyllosphere microbiomes, the biological functions of the majority of these species are unknown. Functional studies are therefore urgently needed in order to characterize the plethora of microorganisms that are being identified and to point out species that may be used for biotechnology or plant protection. Here, we used a dual culture assay and growth analyses to characterise yeasts (40 different isolates) and their antagonistic effect on 16 filamentous fungi; comprising plant pathogens, antagonists, and saprophytes.Overall, this competition screen of 640 pairwise combinations revealed a broad range of outcomes, ranging from small stimulatory effects of some yeasts up to a growth inhibition of more than 80% by individual species. On average, yeasts isolated from soil suppressed filamentous fungi more strongly than phyllosphere yeasts and the antagonistic activity was a species-/isolate-specific property and not dependent on the filamentous fungus a yeast was interacting with. The isolates with the strongest antagonistic activity were Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Hanseniaspora sp., Cyberlindnera sargentensis, Aureobasidium pullulans, Candida subhashii, and Pichia kluyveri. Among these, the soil yeasts (C. sargentensis, A. pullulans, C. subhashii) assimilated and/or oxidized more di-, tri- and tetrasaccharides and organic acids than yeasts from the phyllosphere. Only the two yeasts C. subhashii and M. pulcherrima were able to grow with N-acetyl-glucosamine as carbon source.The competition assays and physiological experiments described here identified known antagonists that have been implicated in the biological control of plant pathogenic fungi in the past, but also little characterised species such as C. subhashii. Overall, soil yeasts were more antagonistic and metabolically versatile than yeasts from the phyllosphere. Noteworthy was the strong antagonistic activity of the soil yeast C. subhashii, which had so far only been described from a clinical sample and not been studied with respect to biocontrol. Based on binary competition assays and growth analyses (e.g., on different carbon sources, growth in root exudates), C. subhashii was identified as a competitive and antagonistic soil yeast with potential as a novel biocontrol agent against plant pathogenic fungi.

July 7, 2019  |  

Simultaneous emergence of multidrug-resistant Candida auris on 3 continents confirmed by whole-genome sequencing and epidemiological analyses.

Candida auris, a multidrug-resistant yeast that causes invasive infections, was first described in 2009 in Japan and has since been reported from several countries.To understand the global emergence and epidemiology of C. auris, we obtained isolates from 54 patients with C. auris infection from Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Venezuela during 2012-2015 and the type specimen from Japan. Patient information was available for 41 of the isolates. We conducted antifungal susceptibility testing and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).Available clinical information revealed that 41% of patients had diabetes mellitus, 51% had undergone recent surgery, 73% had a central venous catheter, and 41% were receiving systemic antifungal therapy when C. auris was isolated. The median time from admission to infection was 19 days (interquartile range, 9-36 days), 61% of patients had bloodstream infection, and 59% died. Using stringent break points, 93% of isolates were resistant to fluconazole, 35% to amphotericin B, and 7% to echinocandins; 41% were resistant to 2 antifungal classes and 4% were resistant to 3 classes. WGS demonstrated that isolates were grouped into unique clades by geographic region. Clades were separated by thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, but within each clade isolates were clonal. Different mutations in ERG11 were associated with azole resistance in each geographic clade.C. auris is an emerging healthcare-associated pathogen associated with high mortality. Treatment options are limited, due to antifungal resistance. WGS analysis suggests nearly simultaneous, and recent, independent emergence of different clonal populations on 3 continents. Risk factors and transmission mechanisms need to be elucidated to guide control measures. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

July 7, 2019  |  

Whole genome sequence of the heterozygous clinical isolate Candida krusei 81-B-5.

Candida krusei is a diploid, heterozygous yeast that is an opportunistic fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. This species also is utilized for fermenting cocoa beans during chocolate production. One major concern in the clinical setting is the innate resistance of this species to the most commonly used antifungal drug fluconazole. Here we report a high-quality genome sequence and assembly for the first clinical isolate of C. krusei, strain 81-B-5, into 11 scaffolds generated with PacBio sequencing technology. Gene annotation and comparative analysis revealed a unique profile of transporters that could play a role in drug resistance or adaptation to different environments. In addition, we show that while 82% of the genome is highly heterozygous, a 2.0 Mb region of the largest scaffold has undergone loss of heterozygosity. This genome will serve as a reference for further genetic studies of this pathogen. Copyright © 2017 Author et al.

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