Journal of general microbiology

The role of glucose in the pH regulation of germ-tube formation in Candida albicans.

PMID 3309155


It has been reported that Candida albicans can form germ-tubes only in the narrow pH range of 6-8, and that by changing only the pH one can regulate germ-tube formation. We found that the pH minimum for germ-tube formation could be dramatically lowered by eliminating the glucose present in many induction solutions. Lee's medium lacking glucose, ethanol, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, and proline induced germ-tubes at pH values as low as 3 under most conditions. The presence of as little as 1 mM-glucose in these induction solutions was sufficient to cause the cells to grow either as yeasts with multiple buds or as pseudohyphae when the pH was 3.7. However, when C. albicans was grown in any of the above induction solutions (with the exception of ethanol), containing 200 mM-glucose buffered at pH 5.8, not only were germ-tubes formed, but their rate of formation and length were also increased. Preincubation of the cells in a solution buffered at pH 3.7 and containing 200 mM-glucose, before exposure to induction solutions lacking glucose at pH 3.7 or at pH 5.8, did not inhibit germ-tube formation. Likewise, addition of glucose after 45 min exposure to an induction solution was without effect. Theophylline and dibutyryl cAMP did not counteract the action of glucose. Other sugars which suppressed germ-tube formation at low pH were fructose, galactose, mannose, xylose, gluconic acid and the nonmetabolizable sugar 3-O-methylglucose. These results indicate that pH does not directly regulate dimorphism in C. albicans, and that glucose or its metabolites may play an important role.

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α-D-Glucoheptonic acid sodium salt