is an opportunistic fungal pathogen found in the oral mucosa, the gut, the vaginal mucosa, and humans' skin. While can cause superficial infections, severe invasive infections can occur in immunocompromised individuals. Understanding the survival mechanisms and pathogenesis of is critical for novel antifungal drug discovery. Determining the relationships between different genes can create a genetic interaction map, which can identify complementary gene sets, central to survival, as potential drug targets in combination therapy. A genetic approach using the CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing platform will focus on genetic interaction analysis of stress response genes. The ultimate goal is to create a stress response gene deletion library to study its pathogen survival role. This library of single and double stress response gene mutants will be screened under diverse growth conditions to assess their relative fitness. Genetic interaction analysis will help map out epistatic interactions between fungal genes involved in growth, survival, and pathogenesis and uncover putative targets for combination antifungal therapy based on negative or synthetic lethal genetic interactions.

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