Genome Size, Complexity, and Ploidy of the Pathogenic Fungus Histoplasma capsulatum

Glen Shearer, University of Southern Mississippi

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The genome size, complexity, and ploidy of the dimorphic pathogenic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum was determined by using DNA renaturation kinetics, genomic reconstruction, and how cytometry, Nuclear DNA was isolated from two strains, G186AS and Downs, and analyzed by renaturation kinetics and genomic reconstruction with three putative single-copy genes (calmodulin, alpha-tubulin, and beta-tubulin), G186AS was found to have a genome of approximately 2.3 x 10(7) bp with less than 0.5% repetitive sequences. The Downs strain, however, was found to have a genome approximately 40% larger with more than 16 times more repetitive DNA. The Downs genome was determined to be 3.2 x 10(7) bp with approximately 8% repetitive DNA. To determine ploidy, the DNA mass per cell measured by flow cytometry was compared with the In genome estimate to yield a DNA index (DNA per cell/1n genome size). Strain G186AS was found to have a DNA index of 0.96, and Downs had a DNA index of 0.94, indicating that both strains are haploid. Genomic reconstruction and Southern blot data obtained with alpha- and beta-tubulin probes indicated that some genetic duplication has occurred in the Downs strain, which may be aneuploid or partially diploid.