Genomic insights into multidrug-resistance, mating and virulence in Candida auris and related emerging species.
Candida auris is an emergent multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen causing increasing reports of outbreaks. While distantly related to C. albicans and C. glabrata, C. auris is closely related to rarely observed and often multidrug-resistant species from the C. haemulonii clade. Here, we analyze near complete genome assemblies for the four C. auris clades and three related species, and map intra- and inter-species rearrangements across the seven chromosomes. Using RNA-Seq-guided gene predictions, we find that most mating and meiosis genes are conserved and that clades contain either the MTLa or MTLa mating loci. Comparing the genomes of these emerging species to those of other Candida species identifies genes linked to drug resistance and virulence, including expanded families of transporters and lipases, as well as mutations and copy number variants in ERG11. Gene expression analysis identifies transporters and metabolic regulators specific to C. auris and those conserved with related species which may contribute to differences in drug response in this emerging fungal clade.