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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1997 Apr;47(2):453-60.

A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Saccharomyces based on 18S rRNA gene sequences: description of Saccharomyces kunashirensis sp. nov. and Saccharomyces martiniae sp. nov.

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  • 1National Collection of Yeast Cultures, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Norwich Laboratory, United Kingdom.

Abstract

A phylogenetic investigation of the ascomycetous yeast genus Saccharomyces was performed by using 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Comparative sequence analysis showed that the genus is phylogenetically very heterogeneous. Saccharomyces species were found to be phylogenetically interdispersed with members of other ascomycetous genera (e.g., the genera Kluyveromyces, Torulaspora, and Zygosaccharomyces). The four species of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex (viz., Saccharomyces bayanus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces paradoxus, and Saccharomyces pastorianus) were found to be phylogenetically closely related to one another, displaying exceptionally high levels of sequence similarity (> or = 99.9%). These four species formed a natural group that was quite separate from the other Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces species examined. Saccharomyces exiguus and its anamorph, Candida holmii, were found to be genealogically almost identical and, along with Saccharomyces barnettii, formed a stable group closely related to, but nevertheless distinct from, Kluyveromyces africanus, Kluyveromyces lodderae, Saccharomyces rosinii, Saccharomyces spencerorum, and Saccharomyces sp. strain CBS 7662T (T = type strain). Saccharomyces spencerorum and Kluyveromyces lodderae displayed a particularly close genealogical affinity with each other, as did Saccharomyces castellii and Saccharomyces dairensis. Similarly, Saccharomyces servazzii, Saccharomyces unisporus, and Saccharomyces sp. strain CBS 6904 were found to be genotypically highly related and to form a phylogenetically distinct lineage. The recently reinstated species Saccharomyces transvaalensis was found to form a distinct lineage and displayed no specific association with any other Saccharomyces or non-Saccharomyces species. Saccharomyces kluyveri formed a very loose association with a group which included Kluyveromyces thermotolerans, Kluyveromyces waltii, Zygosaccharomyces cidri, and Zygosaccharomyces fermentati. Saccharomyces spp. strain CBS 6334T, on the other hand, displayed no specific association with any of the other Saccharomyces spp. studied, although a neighbor-joining analysis did reveal that this strain exhibited a loose phylogenetic affinity with Kluyveromyces polysporus and Kluyveromyces yarrowii. On the basis of the phylogenetic findings, two new Saccharomyces species, Saccharomyces kunashirensis (with type strain CBS 7662) and Saccharomyces martiniae (with type strain CBS 6334), are described.

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