A morphological and physiological characterization of yeast strains CBS 8908, CBS 8915, CBS 8920, CBS 8925(T) and CBS 8926, isolated from Antarctic soils, was performed. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences of the D1/D2 regions and the adjacent internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the large-subunit rDNA of these strains placed them into the Tremellales clade of the Hymenomycetes. The sequence data identified strains CBS 8908, CBS 8915 and CBS 8920 as belonging to the species Cryptococcus victoriae. Strains CBS 8925(T) and CBS 8926 were found to represent an unique clade within the Hymenomycetes, with Dioszegia crocea CBS 6714(T) being their closest phylogenetic relative. Fatty acid composition and proteome fingerprint data for these novel strains were also obtained. No sexual state was observed. A novel basidiomycetous species, Cryptococcus statzelliae, is proposed for strains CBS 8925(T) and CBS 8926.


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