A novel anamorphic species of yeast belonging to the genus Candida was isolated from tar in Canada. Morphological and physiological observations, as well as phylogenetic analyses, were performed. Conidiophores were produced, were usually short and had sympodial growth, numerous bud scars and a rachis-like structure. They bore one or more conidia. Pseudomycelium was scarcely produced and true mycelium was sparse. No sexual reproduction was observed on corn meal, malt, Gorodkowa, Dextrose Yeast Peptone or V8 agars. Zygoascus hellenicus was physiologically the most closely related species, but it differed from the novel species by its ability to assimilate D-galacturonate and L-rhamnose, ferment sucrose and grow at 37 degrees C. From sequence analysis of the 26S rDNA D1/D2 region, Z. hellenicus and Candida bertae var. bertae were the closest species with 54 and 56 bp substitutions, respectively. Similar results have been obtained from analysis of the 18S rDNA. All these data support the hypothesis that the yeast, named Candida bituminiphila, is a novel species closely related to Z. hellenicus. The holotype and only isolate of C. bituminiphila is strain CBS 8813T (= MUCL 41424T).


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