Submitted to: Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2009
Publication Date: September 17, 2009
Citation: Kurtzman, C.P. 2009. Biotechnological Strains of Komagataella (Pichia) pastoris are Komagataella phaffii as Determined from Multigene Sequence Analysis. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. 36(11):1435-1438. Interpretive Summary: The yeast Pichia pastoris is used worldwide to express genes for production of biotechnologically and medically important enzymes and other proteins. Recently, the yeast was reclassified in the genus Komagataella following gene sequence analyses. In the present study, K. pastoris was compared with the closely related species K. pseudopastoris and K. phaffii. Results from an analysis of four gene sequences showed that the species used for gene expression is not K. pastoris as originally believed, but actually K. phaffii. The inpact of this work is that biotechnologists will now know which species they are using and this will bring new understanding to yeast genetics.
Technical Abstract: Pichia pastoris was reassigned earlier to the genus Komagataella following phylogenetic analysis of gene sequences. Since that time, two additional species of Komagataella have been described, K. pseudopastoris and K. phaffii. Because these three species are unlikely to be resolved from the standard fermentation and growth tests used in yeast taxonomy, the identity of biotechnologically important strains of K. pastoris was determined from multigene sequence analyses. Results from this study show that the strain of ‘Pichia pastoris’ commonly used in gene expression studies is actually Komagataella phaffii.