Evolutionary dynamics of candida albicans during in vitro evolution

Mian Huang, Mark McClellan, Judith Berman, Katy C. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


While mechanisms of resistance to major antifungal agents have been characterized in Candida albicans, little is known about the evolutionary trajectories during the emergence of drug resistance. Here, we examined the evolutionary dynamics of C. albicans that evolved in vitro in the presence or absence of fluconazole using the visualizing evolution in real-time (VERT) method, a novel experimental approach that facilitates the systematic isolation of adaptive mutants that arise in the population. We found an increase in the frequency of adaptive events in the presence of fluconazole compared to the no-drug controls. Analysis of the evolutionary dynamics revealed that mutations that led to increased drug resistance appeared frequently and that mutants with increased levels of resistance arose in independent lineages. Interestingly, most adaptive mutants with increased fitness in the presence of the drug did not exhibit a significant fitness decrease in the absence of the drug, supporting the idea that rapid resistance can arise from mutations in strains maintained in the population prior to exposure to the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1421
Number of pages9
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation1054276
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesR01AI062427


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