Chapter 47 : Evolution of Pathogenic Candida Species

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The evolutionary relationships between Candida albicans and C. dubliniensis are obviously very close, since the species are morphologically indistinguishable, and C. dubliniensis was discovered mainly as a consequence of molecular phylogenetic approaches. The pathogenic Candida species share a few common properties beyond their status as budding, fermentative yeasts. In this chapter, separate descriptions of each species is followed by a general overview of the evolutionary history of yeasts and of pathogenic Candida species. The chapter ends with a consideration of the evolutionary significance of interspecies differences to the clinically important considerations of pathogenicity and of antifungal susceptibility and resistance. In evolutionary terms C. glabrata is a close relative of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and thus differs from most other pathogenic Candida species, which diverged from the S. cerevisiae lineage before the whole-genome duplication event. The presumed evolutionary changes that led to the emergence of the pathogenic Candida species have mainly to do with adaptation to commensal existence in warm-blooded animals, rather than with causation of invasive infection.

Citation: Odds F. 2008. Evolution of Pathogenic Candida Species, p 567-580. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch47
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Phylogenetic overview of evolutionary relationships between the pathogenic Candida species. The tree depicted shows the approximate relative similarities of the seven Candida species reviewed in this chapter, plus S. cerevisiae as a reference point. It is drawn to illustrate commonalities between several published phylogenetic trees that are variously based on codon usage differences (Sugita and Nakase, 1999), actin gene sequences (Daniel et al., 2001), and rDNA sequences, including ITS sequences (Tavanti et al., 2005; Alcoba-Flórez et al., 2005b; Gilfillan et al., 1998; Diezmann et al., 2004). Common to most or all of these publications is a cluster composed of C. albicans, C. dubliniensis, C. parapsilosis (plus C. orthopsilosis and C. metapsilosis), and C. tropicalis; a separate branch containing S. cerevisiae and C. glabrata; and divergence points for C. krusei and C. lusitaniae that precede the branches to the albicans group and the cerevisiae group. The evolutionary distances suggested in this adaptation are only approximate.

Citation: Odds F. 2008. Evolution of Pathogenic Candida Species, p 567-580. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch47
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Table 1.

Chromosomes and genomic information on pathogenic Candida species

Citation: Odds F. 2008. Evolution of Pathogenic Candida Species, p 567-580. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch47

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