Vacuole inheritance regulates cell size and branching frequency of Candida albicans hyphae

Veronica Veses, Andrea Richards, Neil A R Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Hyphal growth of Candida albicans is characterized by asymmetric cell divisions in which the subapical mother cell inherits most of the vacuolar space and becomes cell cycle arrested in G1, while the apical daughter cell acquires most of the cell cytoplasm and progresses through G1 into the next mitotic cell cycle. Consequently, branch formation in hyphal compartments is delayed until sufficient cytoplasm is synthesized to execute the G1 'START' function. To test the hypothesis that this mode of vacuole inheritance determines cell cycle progression and therefore the branching of hyphae, eight tetracycline-regulated conditional mutants were constructed that were affected at different stages of the vacuole inheritance pathway. Under repressing conditions, vac7, vac8 and fab1 mutants generated mycelial compartments with more symmetrically distributed vacuoles and increased branching frequencies. Repression of VAC1, VAM2 and VAM3 resulted in sparsely branched hyphae, with large vacuoles and enlarged hyphal compartments. Therefore, during hyphal growth of C. albicans the cell cycle, growth and branch formation can be uncoupled, resulting in the investment of cytoplasm to support hyphal extension at the expense of hyphal branching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-519
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number2
Early online date18 Nov 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Candida albicans
  • cell cycle
  • hyphae
  • inheritance patterns
  • mutagenesis
  • vacuoles


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