The key difference between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans is that Saccharomyces cerevisiae is not a commensal yeast or a non-pathogenic fungus, while Candida albicans is a commensal yeast that is a pathogenic fungus.
S. cerevisiae is one of the most studied eukaryotic model organisms. It is a non-pathogenic fungus that is used in winemaking, baking, and brewing. In contrast, C. albicans is an opportunistic pathogen that causes candidiasis. It is a polymorphous fungus that exists as yeast, pseudohypha, and hypha. C. albicans is found in the human gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
3. What is Candida Albicans
4. Similarities – Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans
5. Saccharomyces Cerevisiae vs Candida Albicans in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Saccharomyces Cerevisiae vs Candida Albicans
What is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae?
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a budding yeast commonly known as sugar fungus or brewer’s yeast. Structurally, S. cerevisiae is round or ovoid in shape. It exists as a single-celled organism that is 5–10 μm in diameter. S cerevisiae reproduces by budding. Cytokinesis enables the budding yeast to form two daughter cells from the mother cell. A bud develops on top of the mother cell and grows attached to it. Once matured, this bud detaches from the mother cell and becomes an independent cell. S cerevisiae is not airborne. Primarily, it is found in ripening fruits. The genome of the S. cerevisiae is the first genome that was completely sequenced. The genome has 16 chromosomes and comprises about 6000 genes.
S cerevisiae is a eukaryotic model organism used in molecular and cell biology. This fungus can also be easily manipulated genetically. Hence, it is useful in various biotechnological applications as well. Moreover, this organism has been used in baking, winemaking, and brewing since ancient times. It is also used for the industrial production of some biopharmaceuticals. Though S. cerevisiae is considered non-pathogenic, it is related to a wide variety of infections, including vaginitis in healthy patients and cutaneous infections, systemic bloodstream infections, and infections of essential organs in immunocompromised and critically ill patients.
What is Candida Albicans?
Candida albicans is a commensal yeast that becomes an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised people. It is commonly found in the human gut. It can also survive outside the human body. C. albicans is present in the gastrointestinal tract and mouth in many healthy individuals. This fungus becomes pathogenic under a variety of conditions. C. albicans is one of the Candida species that causes candidiasis. According to statistics, systemic candidiasis caused by C. albicans accounts for a mortality rate of 40%. Moreover, this fungus is also responsible for invasive candidiasis. According to some new studies, C. albicans is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier as well.
C. albicans is normally used as a model organism for fungal pathogens. It undergoes morphological switching between yeast and hyphal forms (filamentous cells). Therefore, it is known as a dimorphic fungus. C. albicans exists as haploid, diploid, or tetraploid. The genome size of the diploid form is around 29 Mb. About 70 % of protein-coding genes of C. albicans have not yet been characterized.
C. albicans causes both superficial local infections (mouth, vagina) and systematic infections (immunocompromised people). It also plays a role in Crohn’s disease. People suffering from Crohn’s disease are more likely to colonize C. albicans. Antifungal medications such as amphotericin B, echinocandin, fluconazole, nystatin, clotrimazole are effective against C. albicans.
What are the Similarities Between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans?
- Both cerevisiae and C. Albicans exist as yeast.
- They cause fungal infections in humans.
- Both these types are used as model organisms in molecular Biology.
- They are present in the human intestine.
- They are eukaryotic organisms belonging to Kingdom Fungi.
What is the Difference Between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans?
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an industrially important non-pathogenic yeast species, while Candida albicans is a fungus that is an opportunistic commensal pathogen. Thus, this is the key difference between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans.
The below infographic presents the differences between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Saccharomyces Cerevisiae vs Candida Albicans
Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans are two yeast species. S. cerevisiae is not a commensal yeast, and it is not a pathogenic fungus. It is widely used in winemaking, baking, and brewing. Therefore, it is an industrially important fungal species. C. albicans is a commensal yeast normally present in the human gastrointestinal tract. It is an opportunistic pathogen. It is one of the species that causes candidisis. Structurally, S. cerevisiae is a single-celled fungus while C. albicans can undergo morphogenic changes from yeast to hyphae. So, this summarizes the difference between Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Candida Albicans.
1. “Candidiasis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Oct. 2020.
2. Parapouli, Maria, et al. “Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and Its Industrial Applications.” AIMS Microbiology, AIMS Press, 11 Feb. 2020.
2. “Candida albicans (1000X magnification) (6500725393)” By Michael R Francisco from france – Candida albicans (1000X magnification) (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia