A phylogenetic investigation of the ascomycetous yeast genus was performed by using 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Comparative sequence analysis showed that the genus is phylogenetically very heterogeneous. species were found to be phylogenetically interdispersed with members of other ascomycetous genera (e.g., the genera , and ). The four species of the sensu stricto complex (viz., , and ) were found to be phylogenetically closely related to one another, displaying exceptionally high levels of sequence similarity (>99.9%). These four species formed a natural group that was quite separate from the other and non- species examined. and its anamorph, , were found to be genealogically almost identical and, along with . formed a stable group closely related to, but nevertheless distinct from, , and sp. strain CBS 7662 (T = type strain). and displayed a particularly close genealogical affinity with each other, as did and . Similarly, , and sp. strain CBS 6904 were found to be genotypically highly related and to form a phylogenetically distinct lineage. The recently reinstated species was found to form a distinct lineage and displayed no specific association with any other or non- species. formed a very loose association with a group which included , and sp. strain CBS 6334, on the other hand, displayed no specific association with any of the other spp. studied, although a neighbor-joining analysis did reveal that this strain exhibited a loose phylogenetic affinity with and . On the basis of the phylogenetic findings, two new species, (with type strain CBS 7662) and (with type strain CBS 6334), are described.


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