Effects of stress conditions on Wangiella dermatitidis and its various chitin synthase mutants
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Wangiella dermatitidis is a dematiaceous (melanized) fungus that causes pheohyphomycosis in humans. Although W. dermatitidis predominantly exists as a budding yeast in vitro, it can be induced to convert into one or the other of its alternative morphotypes by culture under different growth conditions, including those considered to be stress conditions. Five different Wangiella chitin synthesis structural genes (WdCHS) have been identified, and mutants (wdchs[Delta symbol]) have been derived with each individual WdCHS gene and all combinations of two WdCHS genes disrupted. Although some of their phenotypic characteristics under different temperatures and stress conditions have been studied, a complete review of the phenotypic differences between the Wangiella wild-type strain and the wdchs[Delta symbol] mutant strains grown side-by-side and subjected simultaneously to the various stress conditions investigated has not been carried out. The aim of this thesis is to compare the stress-induced phenotypic changes exhibited among the Wangiella strains investigated to provide clues for future research.