In December 1997, 196 soil and snow samples were collected from Vestvold Hills, Davis Base, Antarctica. Two isolates, CBS 8804T (pink colonies) and CBS 8805 (yellow colonies), were shown by proteome analysis and DNA sequencing to represent the same species. Results from the sequencing of the D1/D2 region of the large rDNA subunit placed this species in the hymenomycetous tree in a unique sister clade to the Trichosporonales and the Tremellales. The clade consists of Holtermannia corniformis CBS 6979 and CBS strains 8804T, 8805, 8016, 7712, 7713 and 7743. Morphological and physiological characteristics placed this species in the genus Cryptococcus, with characteristics including the assimilation of D-glucuronate and myo-inositol, no fermentation, positive Diazonium blue B and urease reactions, absence of sexual reproduction and production of starch-like compounds. Fatty acid analysis identified large proportions of polyunsaturated lipids, mainly linoleic (C18:2) and, to a lesser extent, linolenic (C18:3) acids. On the basis of the physiological and phylogenetic data, isolates CBS 8804T and CBS 8805 are described as Cryptococcus nyarrowii sp. nov.


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