Screening of Candida albicans GRACE library revealed a unique pattern of biofilm formation under repression of the essential gene ILS1.

Anna Carolina Borges Pereira Costa, Raha Parvizi Omran, Tuana Oliveira Correia-Mesquita, Vanessa Dumeaux, Malcolm Whiteway, Scientific reports 9, 9187 (2019)
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Candida albicans biofilm formation is governed by a regulatory circuit comprising nine transcription factors which control a network of target genes. However, there are still unknown genes contributing to biofilm features. Thus, the GRACE library was screened to identify genes involved in mature biofilm development. Twenty-nine conditional mutants were selected for a second screening revealing three groups of genes: twenty- two conditional mutants were defective for normal growth and unable to form biofilms; six strains, conditionally defective in genes ARC40, ARC35, ORF19.2438, SKP1, ERG6, and ADE5,7 that are likely essential or involved in general cell processes, grew normally as free-floating cells but produced less biofilm; finally, the conditional strain for a putative essential isoleucyl- tRNA synthetase gene, ILS1, was unable to grow as yeast-phase cells but was capable of producing a tridimensional biofilm structure in spite of reduced metabolic activity. This unique biofilm still relied on the classical biofilm genes, while it differentially induced groups of genes involved in adhesion, protein synthesis, cell wall organization, and protein folding. Although the conditional mutant repressed genes annotated for morphology and homeostasis processes affecting morphology and metabolism, the dynamic cell growth enabled the formation of a complex biofilm community independent of ILS1.