Candida tropicalis is a human pathogen with significant mortality rates, which is particularly prevalent in tropical regions. The first genome sequence of C. tropicalis was published in 2009. In this study, we sequenced 75 C. tropicalis isolates with the aim of studying the intra-species diversity of this pathogen at a phenotypic and genetic level. These isolates were collected from both clinical and environmental sources, and sequenced using Illumina technology. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequenced isolates using SNP trees and PCA analysis reveals several multi-isolate clusters, which are unrelated to geographical origin. Overall, the genomes of the isolates were stable, with only 4 out of 75 isolates demonstrating any aneuploidy. However, the genomes are highly heterozygous, with one variant, on average, every 136 bases. Variant analysis revealed three highly divergent isolates, with one variant, on average, every 7 bases. Further examination of these isolates revealed that they are the products of hybridisation between two parents; one which is almost identical to the reference strain (>99.9 %), and a second, unidentified parent, which is approximately 4.5 % different in its sequence to the reference strain. Differences in sequence indicate that these hybrids arose from separate hybridisation events. Phenotypic differences are also observed between isolates under certain conditions, particularly in the presence of cell wall stressors, metal stressors and antifungal drugs. Cosine similarity was used to identify correlations between genetic variants and phenotypic variation in all isolates, identifying variants that may be responsible for particular phenotypes. Work is ongoing to confirm these observed correlations.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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