Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The use of traditional growth and fermentation tests for yeast identification often results in errors because many species have similar physiological profiles on standardized tests. Gene sequences offer a reliable means for recognizing species and assessing their relatedness to one another. Large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences (region D1/D2) are sufficiently variable among yeasts to allow recognition of individual species, as demonstrated from comparisons by mating tests and nuclear DNA reassociation, and resulting phylogenetic trees are congruent with those from other gene sequences. From analysis of D1/D2 sequences, 60 species are predicted to be conspecific from among the ca. 500 currently known ascomycetous yeasts. D1/D2 sequences were used to develop oligonucleotide probes for rapid identification of clinically important species. The impact of gene sequence comparisons on species concepts, systematics and the practical need for rapid laboratory identification of yeast cultures will be discussed.