Treatment of whole yeast cells with a mixture of a reducing agent and 1,3-β-glucanase isolated from Basidiomycete QM806 led to the production of sphaeroplasts from ascomycetes, from some fungi imperfecti, but not from basidiomycetes. Association of 1,3-β-glucanase with a second enzyme, 1,4-α-glucanase, from , was required for sphaeroplast release from some, but not all, basidiomycetes and fungi imperfecti. The ability of yeast cells to liberate sphaeroplasts following appropriate enzymic treatment is proposed as a taxonomic criterion for differentiating basidiomycetous from ascomycetous yeasts and for classifying fungi imperfecti yeasts.


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