The orotidine monophosphate pyrophosphorylase (OMPPase) gene locus of the DNA of 13 Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans strains, including 10 recent clinical isolates, was studied by using restriction fragment length polymorphisms and nucleotide sequence analysis. The OMPPase locus (URA5) is highly polymorphic, and at least six alleles were identified. The nucleotide sequences of some alleles differed by up to 5%. The majority of the nucleotide polymorphisms in the protein-coding region occurred at the third codon position and were silent. The low frequency of replacement nucleotide substitutions relative to silent nucleotide substitutions implied that there is strong selection against amino acid changes in OMPPase. The allelic variation suggested that there is extensive genomic diversity among C. neoformans clinical isolates from one geographic area. The various alleles are potentially useful markers in the study of the population structure, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of C. neoformans strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)