The Tool Box for Functional Genomics

A wealth of research tools for genetics and genomics is available for the nonpatho-genic model organisms S. cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, while resources for the pathogenic fungi have been scarce. Absent or cryptic sexual phases often prevent the use of classical genetics in these fungi. Furthermore, dif-

18.4 The Tool Box for Functional Genomics | 407

ficulties in growing the microorganisms under defined laboratory conditions, the lack of stable extrachromosomal elements, poor efficiencies for transformation or homologous recombination, and such peculiarities as noncanonical decoding of the CUG codon in some members of the genus Candida [62] have hampered genetic studies in pathogenic fungi. Genomics and recent developments of molecular genetic tools for many pathogenic fungi, however, promise to narrow the gap to the model organisms and help to identify the molecular basis of pathogenesis. In the following, we highlight some recent developments.

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