A new heterothallic species of has been recovered 25 times from widely separated cactus substrates. The organism has been named because the sexually most compatible strains were isolated from in Australia. Two varieties are designated based on differences in physiology, habitat, and geographic distribution. var. has a maximum temperature for growth of 30 to 33°C and assimilates citric acid strongly, but assimilation of cellobiose is latent, weak, or negative. var. grows well at 37°C, but not at 39°C; it assimilates cellobiose strongly but does not assimilate citric acid. Ecologically, var. is associated with (tribe Opuntiaeae, subtribe Opuntiinae) in Australia; var. is associated with species of the cactus tribe Pachycereeae, subtribe Pachycereinae, from various locations in the North American Sonoran Desert. A discussion of the physiological and host-plant shifts for these two varieties and three similar cactophilic yeasts is presented. The base composition of the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid of var. (average of four strains) is 33.64 ± 0.25 mol% guanine plus cytosine and that of var. (average of 3 strains) is 33.13 ± 0.23 mol% guanine plus cytosine. The type strain of and of the type variety, var. , is UCD-FS&T 77-40 (= ATCC 36836 = CBS 7010). The type strain of var. is UCD-FS&T 76-211 (= ATCC 36834 = CBS 7012).


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