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Fungal Biol. 2019 Feb;123(2):151-158. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2018.11.011. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Exophiala macquariensis sp. nov., a cold adapted black yeast species recovered from a hydrocarbon contaminated sub-Antarctic soil.

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School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.
Division of Pure and Applied Biochemistry, Lund University, Lund, 22100, Sweden.
Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia. Electronic address:


A new black yeast species, Exophiala macquariensis is described that is a member of the ascomycete family Herpotrichiellaceae, order Chaetothyriales. The genus Exophiala is comprised of opportunistic pathogens isolated from clinical specimens as well as species recovered from hydrocarbon contaminated environments. Several species have been reported to be able to degrade benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes. Here, a novel species of Exophiala (CZ06) previously isolated from a Sub-Antarctic, Macquarie Island soil that was spiked with Special Antarctic Blend diesel fuel (SAB) is described. This isolate has the capacity of toluene biodegradation at cold temperatures. Multilocus sequence typing showed that this fungus was closely related to the pathogenic species Exophiala salmonis and Exophiala equina. With the capacity to utilise hydrocarbons as a sole carbon source at 10 °C, this fungus has great potential for future bioremediation applications.


Bioremediation; Diesel fuel; Macquarie island; Soil fungi; Toluene degradation

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