Fungal QS Systems

Eukaryotic microbial QS systems have recently been discovered and characterized in the dimorphic fungal species Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Several QS molecules have been found, including farnesol (Hornby et al. 2001), tyrosol (Chen et al. 2004), phenylethanol, and tryptophol (Chen and Fink 2006). Farnesol is the best studied and appears to block yeast-to-mycelium conversion of C. albicans (Hornby et al. 2001). The timing of response to farnesol also regulates dimorphism by determining the commitment to morphotype conversion, but the molecular mechanisms are largely unknown (Nickerson et al. 2006). Interestingly, QS response kinetics of C. albicans to farnesol and tyrosol were different (Alem et al. 2006) and may represent a check-point for regulation during development.

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