A molecular systematic investigation of members of the ascomycetous yeast genera , and was performed by using 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Our comparative sequence analysis revealed that and were closely related to one another and also to their teleomorphs, and , respectively. Together with and , these four species formed a stable and distinct phylogenetic group. The three representative species of the genus examined (viz., , and ) were found to be genealogically highly related to each other and exhibited a specific phylogenetic affinity (level of sequence similarity, approximately 99.2%) with (telemorph, species and formed a distinct phylogenetic group, which displayed a significant association with a phylogenetically coherent cluster encompassing , and four other species. In contrast to the situation with the genera and , the genus displayed very marked phylogenetic heterogeneity. , the type species of the genus , and six other species (viz., , and ) were phylogenetically intermixed with species of the genera , and In contrast, , and three varieties, along with their anamorph, , formed a highly stable monophyletic group worthy of separate generic status. and formed two distinct phylogenetic lines that did not exhibit particularly close affinity with each other or other ascomycetous yeast genera. Our phylogenetic findings are discussed in the context of the results of other genotypic and phenotypic studies.


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