Submitted to: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 17, 2012
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Citation: Kurtzman, C.P. 2012. Komagataella populi sp. nov. and Komagataella ulmi sp. nov., two new methanol assimilating yeasts from exudates of deciduous trees. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 101(4):859-868. Interpretive Summary: The discovery of new microbial species provides an opportunity to find novel physiological and genetic properties of interest to science and technology. In this study, two new species of the yeast genus Komagataella are described. The first described species of the genus, Komagataella (Pichia) pastoris, is used worldwide in biotechnology to express genes that code for scientifically and economically important proteins. The discovery of two additional species of Komagataella offers the possibility for further advances in biotechnology using species with somewhat different genetic properties. Consequently, this work will be of particular interest to biotechnologists, but molecular geneticists with an interest in the speciation process will also find these new species of value.
Technical Abstract: Two new species of the methanol assimilating ascosporic yeast genus Komagataella are described. Komagataella populi sp. nov. (NRRL YB-455, CBS 12362, type strain) was isolated from an exudate on a cottonwood tree (Populus deltoides), Peoria, Illinois, USA, and Komagataella ulmi sp. nov. (NRRL YB-407, CBS 12361, type strain) was isolated from the exudate on an elm tree (Ulmus americana), also growing in Peoria, Illinois. The species were resolved from divergence in gene sequences for domains D1/D2 LSU rRNA, mitochondrial small subunit rRNA, RNA polymerase 1 and translation elongation factor-1a. Species of Komagataella assimilate few carbon compounds and are unlikely to be resolved from differences in standard growth and fermentation tests. For this reason, separation of species is dependent on gene sequence analysis.