The filamentation pathway controlled by the Efg1 regulator protein is required for normal biofilm formation and development in Candida albicans

Gordon Ramage, Kacy VandeWalle, José L. López-Ribot, Brian L. Wickes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations

Abstract

Candida albicans biofilms are structured microbial communities composed of a mixture of yeast cells and hyphal elements, suggesting a pivotal role for the dimorphic switch in the development of biofilms. We have used C. albicans mutants defective in genes involved in filamentation (Δcph1, Δefg1, Δhst7, and Δcst20) and compared these mutants to wild-type strains to determine whether filamentation is an integral factor for biofilm formation. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that Δcph1, Δhst7 and Δcst20 mutants were able to filament and form structured biofilms displaying three-dimensional architecture similar to those formed by wild-type strains. However, Δefg1 and Δcph1/Δefg1 mutants were unable to filament and did not form biofilms, but rather sparse monolayers of loosely attached elongated, rod-like, cells. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed intrinsic resistance of all mutant strains to fluconazole and amphotericin B when attached to the surface of biomaterials. These results suggest that hyphal formation is pivotal for biofilm development in C. albicans. However, the sessile lifestyle associated with adherent cells confers antifungal resistance, regardless of coherent biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume214
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2002

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Candida albicans
  • Dimorphism
  • Hyphae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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