, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 63–76 | Cite as

Recombinagenicity of caffeine for Candida albicans

  • Alvin Sarachek
  • Lori A. Henderson


Caffeine at concentrations of 0.5 × 10−2 M or higher inhibited cell replication and induced gene segregations in Candida albicans cultured on defined complete medium. Both responses increased incrementally with increasing caffeine concentrations, and were more severe during incubation at 37 °C than 25 °C; at 37 °C, caffeine levels above 1.5 × 10−2 M caused cellular inactivation. Caffeine effects occurred only under conditions permitting cell growth, and their magnitudes were greater for unbudded than budding cells, were influenced by cellular genetic backgrounds, and were unaffected by the presence of adenine in the medium. Evaluations of segregations for recessive auxotrophic markers of a four member linkage group carried heterozygously in a cis arrangement in treated cells established that induced segregants arise through either reciprocal or nonreciprocal recombinations. The frequency distributions of classes of reciprocal and nonreciprocal recombinants for these markers conformed with those previously obtained following induction by ultraviolet radiation, indicating that the probabilities of recombinational events within the chromosomal regions defined by the markers are not biased by the differences in kinds of initial DNA lesions caused by the two recombinagens. A panel of four protoplast fusion hybrids considered deficient for DNA repair because of enhanced susceptibilities to UV induced cellular inactivation and mitotic recombination exhibited corresponding increased sensitivities to caffeine, signifying that DNA damage induced by caffeine is subject to repair. Caffeine did not affect behavior of a variant strain exhibiting high frequency phenotypic switching between minute smooth and large rough colonial forms, and no evidence for mutagenicity of the drug was obtained with systems for detection of forward or reverse mutations. The mechanism of caffeine's recombinagenicity, and the implications of that property for genetic studies of C. albicans are discussed.

Key words

Caffeine Candida albicans mitotic recombination 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alvin Sarachek
    • 1
  • Lori A. Henderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA

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