Genetic characterization of pathogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates.
J H McCusker, K V Clemons, D A Stevens, R W Davis

Abstract

Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates from human patients have been genetically analyzed. Some of the characteristics of these isolates are very different from laboratory and industrial strains of S. cerevisiae and, for this reason, stringent genetic tests have been used to confirm their identity as S. cerevisiae. Most of these clinical isolates are able to grow at 42 degrees, a temperature that completely inhibits the growth of most other S. cerevisiae strains. This property can be considered a virulence trait and may help explain the presence of these isolates in human hosts. The ability to grow at 42 degrees is shown to be polygenic with primarily additive effects between loci. S. cerevisiae will be a useful model for the evolution and genetic analysis of fungal virulence and the study of polygenic traits.