Vaginal candidiasis (commonly known as vaginal thrush) affects 138 million women worldwide each year.
Researchers have studied four Candida species (which account for 90% of candidiasis cases), the pathways they use to infect the vaginal epithelium and the defence mechanisms of this epithelium.
The results of this international collaboration between the group headed by Dr. Toni Gabaldon (IRB Barcelona / BSC) and Dr. Bernhard Hube’s laboratory (Hans Knoell Institute / University of Jena) have been published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
By analysing duplicates of thousands of genes, researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary events leading to the creation of eukaryotic cells, the precursors to virtually all life you can see with the naked eye.
The evolutionary timeline from simple bacterial cells to complex eukaryotic cells progressed differently than previously thought.
The study, a collaboration between the Comparative Genomics lab at IRB Barcelona and the University of Utrecht, has been published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
The system that regulates cellular calcium levels duplicated, generating two non-equivalent systems, some one billion years ago before fungi and animals diverged evolutionarily.
The fungal models currently used for the study of mitochondrial calcium regulation are not adequate, as the system they possess is not equivalent to that of animals. Chytrids, a divergent group of fungi, would be the only fungi that possess a system similar to ours.
The study by IRB Barcelona's Comparative Genomics Laboratory has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
“Society is interested in research and I would encourage other scientists to get involved in public outreach activities, it’s good for motivation!”
Innovaspain, the newspaper specialized in science and innovation, has interviewed Toni Gabaldón, ICREA researcher at IRB Barcelona and the BSC-CNS, regarding his work on evolutionary genomics. "Genomics is expected to play an important role in the medicine of the future," says the scientist. "The true hope is that genomics emerges not only as a means to detect diseases or define a treatment but as a therapeutic tool through which to manipulate genes through transfer technologies or gene modification," he goes on to say.
Link to Innovaspain
Scientists shed light on how the genome organizes groups of genes linked to specific processes, like the release of toxins
They carried out a study on fungi and found more than 11,000 gene families grouped together or near each other in the genome
The results are published today in the journal Nature Microbiology