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Stress-Induced Loss of Heterozygosity in Candida: a Possible Missing Link in the Ability to Evolve

By Susan M. Rosenberg

Abstract

Diploid organisms are buffered against the effects of mutations by carrying two sets of each gene, which allows compensation if one is mutated. But recombination between “mom” and “dad” chromosomes causes loss of heterozygosity (LOH), stretches of “mom-only” or “dad-only” DNA sequence, suddenly revealing effects of mutations accumulated in entire chromosome arms. LOH creates new phenotypes from old mutations, drives cancer development and evolution, and, in a new study by Forche et al., is shown to be induced by stress in Candida albicans [Forche A, et al, mBio 2(4):e00129-11, 2011]. Stress-induced LOH could speed evolution of Candida specifically when it is poorly adapted to its environment. Moreover, the findings may provide a missing link between recombination-dependent mutagenesis in bacteria and yeast, suggesting that both might be stress induced, both maximizing genetic variation when populations could benefit most from diversity

Topics: Commentary
Publisher: American Society of Microbiology
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3175628
Provided by: PubMed Central

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