Title

Comparing Morphological Responses to Stimuli in Candida albicans and Neurospora crassa

Faculty Sponsor

Micheal K. Watters

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Biology

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-6904-4886, 0000-0002-4200-0725, 0000-0003-4238-480X

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-29-2019

Abstract

Candida albicans, a yeast found in the human body, and Neurospora crassa, a model filamentous fungi, are two very distinct and distantly related fungi. Although N. crassa is well researched, not much is known about C. albicans. The objective of our research was to understand the application of N. crassa models of morphogenesis when researching C. albicans. We exposed C. albicans and N. crassa to various environmental stimuli under similar conditions. When exposed to osmotic stress hyphal growth was induced in C. albicans while N. crassa had no significant morphological response to salinity. C. albicans was more resistant to osmotic stress than N. crassa, which had a significant decrease in growth and survivability as salinity increased. When C. albicans was exposed to sudden drops in temperature there was no change in branching pattern, but N. crassa has a known cold shock response wherein branching temporarily changes from lateral to apical. When exposed to Estradiol, the amount of filaments in C. albicans had a negative correlation to the concentration of Estradiol on the plate. N. crassa was also affected by Estradiol qualitatively, often resulting in thinner hypha.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kirsten Treptow and Paige Camp are undergraduate student researchers at Valparaiso University. They both major in Biology.

Dr. Micheal K. Watters is a genetics professor at Valparaiso University who specializes in research on Neurospora crassa.

Dr. Patrice G. Bouyer is a biology professor at Valparaiso University whose current research involves Candida albicans.

Megan Kelly is a student researcher who assisted us with this project.

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