Analyses of the Global Multilocus Genotypes of the Human Pathogenic Yeast Candida tropicalis
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Candida tropicalis is a globally distributed human pathogenic yeast, especially prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Over the last several decades, a large number of studies have been published on the genetic diversity and molecular epidemiology of C. tropicalis from different parts of the world. However, the global pattern of genetic variation remains largely unknown. Here we analyzed the published multilocus sequence data at six loci for 876 isolates from 16 countries representing five continents. Our results showed that 280 of the 2677 (10.5%) analyzed nucleotides were polymorphic, resulting in a mean of 82 (a range of 38-150) genotypes per locus and a total of 633 combined diploid sequence types (DSTs). Among these, 93 combined DSTs were shared by 336 strains, including 10 by strains from different continents. Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) showed that 89% of the observed genetic variations were found within regional and national populations while < 10% was due to among-country separations. Pairwise geographic population analyses showed overall low but statistically significant genetic differentiation between most geographic populations, with the Singaporean and Indian populations being the most distinct from other populations. However, the Mantel test showed no significant correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance among the geographic populations. Consistent with high genetic variation within and limited variations among geographic populations, results from STRUCTURE analyses showed that the 876 isolates could be grouped into 15 genetic clusters, with each cluster having a broad geographic distribution. Together, our results suggest frequent gene flows among certain regional, national, and continental populations of C. tropicalis, resulting in abundant regional and national genetic diversities of this important human fungal pathogen.