Genome instability often leads to cell death but can also give rise to innovative genotypic and phenotypic variation through mutation and structural rearrangements. Repetitive sequences and chromatin architecture in particular are critical modulators of recombination and mutability. In Candida albicans, four major classes of repeats exist in the genome: telomeres, subtelomeres, the major repeat sequence (MRS), and the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) locus. Characterization of these loci has revealed how their structure contributes to recombination and either promotes or restricts sequence evolution. The mechanisms of recombination that give rise to genome instability are known for some of these regions, whereas others are generally unexplored. More recent work has revealed additional repetitive elements, including expanded gene families and centromeric repeats that facilitate recombination and genetic innovation. Together, the repeats facilitate C. albicans evolution through construction of novel genotypes that underlie C. albicans adaptive potential and promote persistence across its human host.
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