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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2003 Nov;26(4):564-71.

The taxonomic position of Saccharomyces boulardii as evaluated by sequence analysis of the D1/D2 domain of 26S rDNA, the ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 region and the mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase II gene.

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Department of Dairy and Food Science, Food Microbiology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.


A taxonomic study was carried out on eight strains of Saccharomyces boulardii. Morphological and physiological characteristics were consistent with those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Sequences of the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rDNA were identical for all strains examined and had a similarity value of 100% compared to sequences of the type strain of S. cerevisiae (CBS 1171T) and strain S288c. For all S. boulardii isolates was found the exact same ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 sequence, which displayed a close resemblance with the sequences published for S288c (99.9%), CBS 1171(T) (99.3%) and other S. cerevisiae strains. Sequence analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase II gene (COX2) also resulted in identical sequences for the S. boulardii isolates and comparisons with available nucleotide sequences revealed close relatedness to strains of S. cerevisiae including S288c (99.5%) and CBS 1171(T) (96.6%). The electrophoretic karyotypes of the S. boulardii strains appeared quite uniform and although very typical of S. cerevisiae, they formed a cluster separate from strains of this species. The results of the present study strongly indicate a close relatedness of S. boulardii to S. cerevisiae and thereby support the recognition of S. boulardii as a member of S. cerevisiae and not as a separate species.

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