Coccidioides posadasii contains single chitin synthase genes corresponding to classes I to VII

M. Alejandra Mandel, John N. Galgiani, Scott Kroken, Marc J. Orbach

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49 Scopus citations


Coccidioides posadasii is a dimorphic fungal pathogen of humans and other mammals. The switch between saprobic and parasitic growth involves synthesis of new cell walls of which chitin is a significant component. To determine whether particular subsets of chitin synthases (CHSes) are responsible for production of chitin at different stages of differentiation, we have isolated six CHS genes from this fungus. They correspond, together with another reported CHS gene, to single members of the seven defined classes of chitin synthases (classes I-VII). Using Real-Time RT-PCR we show their pattern of expression during morphogenesis. CpCHS2, CpCHS3, and CpCHS6 are preferentially expressed during the saprobic phase, while CpCHS1 and CpCHS4 are more highly expressed during the parasitic phase. CpCHS5 and CpCHS7 expression is similar in both saprobic and parasitic phases. Because C. posadasii contains single members of the seven classes of CHSes found in fungi, it is a good model to investigate the putatively different roles of these genes in fungal growth and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-788
Number of pages14
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • CHS
  • Cell wall
  • Chitin synthase
  • Coccidioides spp
  • Fungal pathogenesis
  • Gene expression
  • Real-time RT-PCR
  • Valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Genetics


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