Submitted to: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 21, 2011
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Citation: Kurtzman, C.P., Robnett, C.J. 2012. Saitoella coloradoensis sp. nov., a new species of the Ascomycota, subphylum Taphrinomycotina. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 101(4):795-802. Interpretive Summary: Gene sequence comparisons have allowed rapid, accurate identification of yeast species and have provided a means for understanding relationships among the species. In the course of characterizing unidentified yeasts maintained in the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL) from gene sequence analysis, a new species of the genus Saitoella was discovered. Prior to this, there was only one known species of Saitoella, which had been isolated from soil in the Himalayan Mountains. The newly discovered species was isolated from insect borings in an Engelmann spruce that was growing in Colorado. The genus Saitoella was discovered from sequence analysis to be a member of a small group of lower ascomycete fungi (Taphrinomycotina), some of which are plant pathogens. Characterization of this new species, S. coloradoensis, has added additional understanding to an important, but poorly studied group of yeasts and raised the possibility that Saitoella may be an unrecognized plant pathogen, which will be of interest to plant pathologists and those concerned about quarantine of plant diseases.
Technical Abstract: Saitoella coloradoensis sp. nov. (NRRL YB-2330, CBS 12360, type strain) is described. This new member of the phylum Ascomycotina, subphylum Taphrinomycotina was isolated from insect frass occurring in an Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) that was growing in Colorado, USA. Multigene sequence analysis showed that S. coloradoensis is distinct from S. complicata, the only other known species of Saitoella. The two species may be separated phenotypically from growth reactions on D-xylose, ribitol and methyl-a-D-glucoside. Asexual reproduction is by budding, and both species produce thick-walled, spherical cells that appear morphologically similar to the ascogenous cells formed in plant host tissue by species of Protomyces and some species of Taphrina. The thick-walled cells did not form ascospores, but did produce buds when placed on fresh growth media.