Pseudohyphal growth of the emerging pathogen Candida auris is triggered by genotoxic stress through the S phase checkpoint

Gustavo Bravo Ruiz, Zoe K. Ross, Neil A. R. Gow, Alexander Lorenz* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The morphogenetic switching between yeast cells and filaments (true hyphae and pseudohyphae) is a key cellular feature required for full virulence in many polymorphic fungal pathogens, such as Candida albicans. In the recently emerged yeast pathogen Candida auris, occasional elongation of cells has been reported. However, environmental conditions and genetic triggers for filament formation have remained elusive. Here, we report that induction of DNA damage and perturbation of replication forks by treatment with genotoxins, such as hydroxyurea, methyl methanesulfonate, and the clinically relevant fungistatic 5-fluorocytosine, causes filamentation in C. auris. The filaments formed were characteristic of pseudohyphae and not parallel-sided true hyphae. Pseudohyphal growth is apparently signalled through the S phase checkpoint and, interestingly, is Tup1-independent in C. auris. Intriguingly, the morphogenetic switching capability is strain-specific in C. auris, highlighting the heterogenous nature of the species as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00151-20
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Arunaloke Chakrabarti, Anuradha Chowdhary, Elizabeth Johnson (PHE), Takashi Kubota, and Shawn Lockhart (CDC) for providing strains. We thank Fei Long for skillful technical assistance. Flow cytometry was performed at the Iain Fraser Cytometry Centre (IFCC), University of Aberdeen (Raif Yuecel). Microscopy was done at the Microscopy & Histology Facility, University of Aberdeen (Kevin S. Mackenzie). This work was supported by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award to AL [grant number 212524/Z/18/Z], and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Exeter [grant numbers MR/P501955/1, MR/N006364/1].


  • candida auris
  • filamentous growth
  • S phase checkpoint
  • Rad51
  • Rad9
  • Mrc1
  • Candida auris
  • Filamentous growth


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