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Open Access Diversity and phylogeny of basidiomycetous yeasts from plant leaves and soil: Proposal of two new orders, three new families, eight new genera and one hundred and seven new species

Nearly 500 basidiomycetous yeast species were accepted in the latest edition of The Yeasts: A Taxonomic Study published in 2011. However, this number presents only the tip of the iceberg of yeast species diversity in nature. Possibly more than 99 % of yeast species, as is true for many groups of fungi, are yet unknown and await discovery. Over the past two decades nearly 200 unidentified isolates were obtained during a series of environmental surveys of yeasts in phyllosphere and soils, mainly from China. Among these isolates, 107 new species were identified based on the phylogenetic analyses of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) [D1/D2 domains of the large subunit (LSU), the small subunit (SSU), and the internal transcribed spacer region including the 5.8S rDNA (ITS)] and protein-coding genes [both subunits of DNA polymerase II (RPB1 and RPB2), the translation elongation factor 1-α (TEF1) and the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (CYTB)], and physiological comparisons. Forty-six of these belong to 16 genera in the Tremellomycetes (Agaricomycotina). The other 61 are distributed in 26 genera in the Pucciniomycotina. Here we circumscribe eight new genera, three new families and two new orders based on the multi-locus phylogenetic analyses combined with the clustering optimisation analysis and the predicted similarity thresholds for yeasts and filamentous fungal delimitation at genus and higher ranks. Additionally, as a result of these analyses, three new combinations are proposed and 66 taxa are validated.

Keywords: Basidiomycetous yeasts; Molecular phylogeny; Species diversity; Taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • Studies in Mycology is an international journal which publishes systematic monographs of filamentous fungi and yeasts, and special topical issues related to all fields of mycology, biotechnology, ecology, molecular biology, pathology and systematics. The journal is Open-Access and contains monographs or topical issues (5–6 papers per issue). There are no restrictions of length, although it is generally expected that manuscripts should be at least 50 A4 pages in print.
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