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A characterization of pH-regulated dimorphism in Candida albicans


When cells of the dimorphic yeast Candida albicans are grown to stationary phase in defined liquid medium at 25°C, they accumulate as singlets in Gl of the cell cycle. When these pluripotent, stationary phase singlets are released into fresh medium at 37°C, they synchronously evaginate after an average period of 135 to 140 minutes and form either buds or mycelia, depending upon the pH of the medium into which they are released. This method of dimorphic regulation offers the distinct advantage of comparability and serves as a very precise method for temporal comparisons of molecular and cytological events related to the establishment of the alternate growth phenotypes. In the present report, we have carefully examined the effects of individually varying pH or temperature on the length of the pre-evagination period, the population synchrony for evagination, and the phenotype of daughter cells. Exact phenotypic transition points, optima, and upper limits are defined for both temperature and pH. In addition, a method of pH-regulated dimorphism is developed in which the original temperature shift is removed from the inductive process. Finally, a common transition phenotype is described for cells reverting from the initial mycelial to budding phenotype when either pH or temperature traverse their respective transition points. The advantages as well as limitations of pH-regulated dimorphism are discussed in detail.

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Buffo, J., Herman, M.A. & Soll, D.R. A characterization of pH-regulated dimorphism in Candida albicans . Mycopathologia 85, 21–30 (1984).

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  • Stationary Phase
  • Candida Albicans
  • Transition Point
  • Daughter Cell
  • Temperature Shift