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The Role of Fungal Adhesins in Mediating Morphogenesis and Virulence in Candida albicans

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Title: The Role of Fungal Adhesins in Mediating Morphogenesis and Virulence in Candida albicans
Author: Rosiana, Sierra
Department: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Advisor: Shapiro, Rebecca
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of Candida albicans; a fungal pathogen and polymorphic yeast that switches between yeast and filamentous morphologies. Preliminary research suggests cell surface adhesin proteins likely play a role in morphogenesis, but a complete analysis of the role and relationship between these adhesins has not been explored. A CRISPR platform was applied to construct a 144 mutant library, comprising 12 unique adhesin genes deleted singly, or in every possible combination of double deletions. I performed a comprehensive screen of this library which identified mutants critical for virulence and significant genetic interactions. This was followed up with in vitro biofilm and morphogenesis assays, which uncovered that some strains that were critical for virulence were also attenuated in these functions, but overall showed that the regulating of these three processes is complex and requires further investigation. Identifying these virulence regulators may ultimately lead to new targets for anti-virulence strategies.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/21193
Date: 2020-09
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