Unisexual reproduction of Cryptococcus gattii.

Published online

Journal Article

Cryptococcus gattii is a basidiomycetous human fungal pathogen that typically causes infection in tropical and subtropical regions and is responsible for an ongoing outbreak in immunocompetent individuals on Vancouver Island and in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Pathogenesis of this species may be linked to its sexual cycle that generates infectious propagules called basidiospores. A marked predominance of only one mating type (α) in clinical and environmental isolates suggests that a-α opposite-sex reproduction may be infrequent or geographically restricted, raising the possibility of an alternative unisexual cycle involving cells of only α mating type, as discovered previously in the related pathogenic species Cryptococcus neoformans. Here we report observation of hallmark features of unisexual reproduction in a clinical isolate of C. gattii (isolate 97/433) and describe genetic and environmental factors conducive to this sexual cycle. Our results are consistent with population genetic evidence of recombination in the largely unisexual populations of C. gattii and provide a useful genetic model for understanding how novel modes of sexual reproduction may contribute to evolution and virulence in this species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Phadke, SS; Feretzaki, M; Clancey, SA; Mueller, O; Heitman, J

Published Date

  • 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 10

Start / End Page

  • e111089 -

PubMed ID

  • 25337713

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25337713

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0111089


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States