Cryptococcus neoformans mitochondrial genomes from serotype A and D strains do not influence virulence
Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated pathogenic yeast producing meningoencephalitis. Two primary strains in genetic studies, serotype A H99 and serotype D JEC21, possess dramatic differences in virulence. Since it has been shown that mitochondrial gene expression is prominent at the site of the infection and there are significant differences between mitochondrial gene structure and regulation between the serotype A and D strains, this study used AD hybrids to move serotype A and D mitochondria under different genomic influences. When the serotype D MATa strain is involved in the mating crosses, there is uniparental transmission of mitochondrial DNA, but with the serotype A MATa strain, mitochondrial DNA can be inherited from either parent and recombination in the mitochondrial genome may also occur. In virulence studies between serotype A and D strains, it was found that the primary genetic control of the virulence composite for growth in the central nervous system is encoded in the nuclear DNA and not through mitochondrial DNA.
KeywordsCryptococcus neoformans Hybrids Inheritance Mitochondria Virulence
This work was supported by National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)-sponsored grants (AI 28388, AI 44975) and as a part of the Duke University Mycology Research Unit.
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