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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2010 Mar;97(3):253-9. doi: 10.1007/s10482-009-9406-8. Epub 2009 Dec 20.

Cryptococcus randhawai sp. nov., a novel anamorphic basidiomycetous yeast isolated from tree trunk hollow of Ficus religiosa (peepal tree) from New Delhi, India.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923, 13110 Safat, Kuwait.


A novel anamorphic Cryptococcus species is described, which was isolated in New Delhi (India) from decaying wood of a tree trunk hollow of Ficus religiosa. On the basis of sequence analysis of the D1/D2 domains of the 26S rRNA gene and the internally transcribed spacer (ITS)-1 and ITS-2 region sequences, the isolate belonged to the Cryptococcus albidus cluster (Filobasidiales, Tremellomycetes) and was closely related to Cryptococcus saitoi, Cryptococcus cerealis and Cryptococcus friedmannii with 98% sequence identity. Phenotypically, the species differed from C. saitoi with respect to growth temperature (up to 37degrees C), presence of a thin capsule, ability to grow in the absence of vitamins, and inability to assimilate citrate and ethylamine. With respect to C. friedmannii, it differed in growth temperature, ability to assimilate lactose, raffinose, L: -rhamnose, myo-inositol, and inability to utilize citrate. Furthermore, our isolate also differed from C. cerealis in growth temperature, presence of capsule and inability to assimilate L: -sorbose. In view of the above phenotypic differences and unique rDNA sequences, we consider that our isolate represents a new species of Cryptococcus, and therefore, a new species, Cryptococcus randhawai is proposed for this taxon. The type strain J11/2002 has been deposited in the culture collection of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS10160) and CABI Biosciences (IMI 393306).

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