Patrice Bouyer, Michael Watters
Arts and Sciences
During body invasion, C.albicans change their morphology from yeast to filamentous, but the environmental factors responsible for the change in morphology are not well characterized. During Sepsis, high levels of estrogen (E2) are recorded (~0.1 nM), in addition during spaceflight it has been shown that C.albicans become virulent. In this study, we aimed at characterizing the effect of estrogen and microgravity as environmental factors inducing filamentous growth. In our experiments, we grow C.albicans in minimum liquid media and use brightfield microscopy to observe the morphology. Microgravity is simulated using a clinostat. In an experimental series, we tested the effect of FBS (positive control) and estrogen on filamentous growth. We found that in the control only 1 out of 10 slides showed filaments. In the presence of FBS, we found filamentous growth in 10 out of 10 slides. In the presence of estrogen, filaments were observed in 8 out of 10 slides. In addition to FBS, the combination of FBS + E2 we found filament growth in 10 out 10 of the slides. However, in the presence of microgravity, we observed filaments in 9 out of 10 slides, meanwhile, we only observed 4 out of 10 slides without microgravity. In addition to microgravity, the combination of E2 + Microgravity, filaments were observed in 3 out of 10 slides. Meanwhile, we only observed 4 out of 10 slides with just E2. In conclusion, estrogen does not inhibit filament growth stimulated by FBS, but it prevents filamentous growth in microgravity.
Kaur, Sky; Coleman, Anita; Gibson, Riquail; Zachara, Idalia; Camp, Paige; Gundelach, George; Watters, Michael; and Bouyer, Patrice, "Effects of Environmental Factors on Candida albicans Morphology: A Focus on Estrogen and Microgravity" (2021). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 108.