Scientific reports

New "haploid biofilm model" unravels IRA2 as a novel regulator of Candida albicans biofilm formation.

PMID 26202015


Clinical isolates of the fungal human pathogen Candida albicans are invariably diploid and heterozygous, impeding genetic study. Recent isolation of C. albicans haploids opens opportunities to apply technologies unfeasible in diploids. However, doubts remain on whether the haploids, derived from chromosome loss, can represent the diploids. Here, we use C. albicans haploids to investigate biofilm, a key virulence attribute. We conducted the first comprehensive characterization of biofilm formation of the haploids in comparison with the diploids. We demonstrate that the haploids form biofilms with essentially the same characteristics as the diploids. Screening a haploid mutant library has uncovered novel GTPase-related genes as biofilm regulators, including IRA2 that encodes an activator of the Ras GTPase. IRA2-deletion mutants develop poorly constructed biofilm in both haploid and diploid C. albicans. Our results demonstrate that the haploids are a valid model for C. albicans biofilm research and a powerful tool for uncovering novel regulators.