The availability of the complete genome of the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans enables a thorough investigation of its biology. In the 13 March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Tzung et al describe a comparison of the C. albicans genome with that of the related yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in an attempt to identify genes that are specifically involved in the sexual cycle, namely, in the processes of meiosis and sporulation (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:3249-3253).

By screening with 500 genes implicated in sexual differentiation, Tzung et al identified C. albicanshomologues for genes involved in the initiation of meiosis, chromosomal recombination and the formation of synaptonemal complexes. Comparison with genomes from other organisms identified additional genes implicated in meiosis.

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