Cell wall protein variation, break-induced replication, and subtelomere dynamics in Candida glabrata

Zhuwei Xu, Brian Green, Nicole Benoit, Jack D. Sobel, Michael C. Schatz, Sarah Wheelan, Brendan P. Cormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Candida glabrata is an opportunistic pathogen of humans, responsible for up to 30% of disseminated candidiasis. Adherence of C. glabrata to host cells is mediated by adhesin-like proteins (ALPs), about half of which are encoded in the subtelomeres. We performed a de novo assembly of two C. glabrata strains, BG2 and BG3993, using long single-molecule real-time (SMRT) reads, and constructed high-quality telomere-to-telomere assemblies of all 13 chromosomes to assess differences between C. glabrata strains. We documented variation between strains, and in agreement with earlier studies, found high (~0.5%–1%) frequencies of SNVs across the genome, including within subtelomeric regions. We documented changes in ALP gene structure and complement: there are large length differences in ALP genes in different strains, resulting from copy number variation in tandem repeats. We compared strains to characterize chromosome rearrangement events including within the poorly characterized subtelomeric regions. We show that rearrangements within the subtelomere regions all affect ALP-encoding genes, and 14/16 involve just the most terminal ALP gene. We present evidence that these rearrangements are mediated by break-induced replication. This study highlights the constrained nature of subtelomeric changes impacting ALP gene complement and subtelomere structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-276
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • BIR
  • fungal adhesins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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