The fungi of the Candida genus, known to millions of patients worldwide for their ability to cause serious infections, were once all thought to be asexual. Even after scientists discovered that the mating habits of Candida albicans were many and varied, they remained convinced that many of the more infectious ones did not mate. Now with the first report that Candida tropicalis can mate sexually as well, the chastity of the whole genus comes into further doubt.
"I think the really asexual fungi are going to turn out to be the exception, rather than the rule," said Richard Bennett, assistant professor of biology at Brown University and senior author of the report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - "Interspecies pheromone signaling promotes biofilm formation and same-sex mating in Candida albicans" (http://www.pnas.org/content/108/6/2510.full?sid=20c1ad3d-6eb1-4795-909b-425950cb8291)