Rapid and extensive karyotype diversification in haploid clinical Candida auris isolates

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Candida auris is a newly emerging pathogenic microbe, having been identified as a medically relevant fungus as recently as 2009. It is the most drug-resistant yeast species known to date and its emergence and population structure are unusual. Because of its recent emergence we are largely ignorant about fundamental aspects of its general biology, life cycle, and population dynamics. Here we report the karyotype variability of 26 C. auris strains representing the four main clades. We demonstrate that all strains are haploid and have a highly plastic karyotype containing five to seven chromosomes, which can undergo marked alterations within a short time-frame when the fungus is put under genotoxic, heat, or osmotic stress. No simple correlation was found between karyotype pattern, drug resistance, and clade affiliation indicating that karyotype heterogeneity is rapidly evolving. As with other Candida species, these marked karyotype differences between isolates are likely to have an important impact on pathogenic traits of C. auris.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1228
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number5
Early online date24 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Open access via the Springer Compact Agreement.
We are grateful to Arunaloke Chakrabarti, Anuradha Chowdhary, Elizabeth Johnson (PHE), Takashi Kubota, and Shawn Lockhart (CDC) for providing strains. Flow cytometry was performed at the Iain Fraser Cytometry Centre (IFCC), University of Aberdeen (Raif Yuecel). This work was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Aberdeen (MR/P501955/1), a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund grant awarded to the University of Aberdeen (204815/Z/16/Z), a Tenovus Scotland project grant (G17.02), a Royal Society Research Grant (RG140254) to AL, and Wellcome Trust Strategic Award, Senior Investigator and Collaborative Awards (080088, 086827, 075470, 099215, and 097377) to NARG.


  • Candida auris
  • chromosome number
  • chromosome size
  • genome size
  • rRNA genes
  • Genome size
  • Chromosome size
  • Chromosome number
  • Karyotype evolution


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