Submitted to: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2012
Publication Date: 9/20/2012
Citation: Kurtzman, C.P. 2012. Candida kuoi sp. nov., a new anamorphic species of the Starmerella yeast clade that synthesizes sophorolipids. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 62(9):2307-2311. Interpretive Summary: This paper describes the new yeast species Candida kuoii, which was discovered to produce a novel open-chain sophorolipid. Sophorolipids have detergent properties and appear environmentally safe, which makes them candidates to replace the petroleum-based components in the worldwide detergent market. C. kuoii was discovered as new from gene sequence analysis and is among a group of species that were predicted from analysis of gene sequences to produce sophorolipids. This research provides an example of using predictions from analysis of genetic relationships to discover microorganisms that convert agricultural commodities to high value commercial products.
Technical Abstract: Candida kuoii sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27208T, CBS 7267T, type strain) is described from a strain isolated from concentrated grape juice in Cape Province, South Africa. Analysis of sequences from the D1/D2 domains of the nuclear large subunit rRNA gene separated the proposed new species from Starmerella bombicola and S. meliponinorum, as well as from Candida species that are members of the Starmerella clade. Of described species, C. kuoii is most closely related to S. bombicola but can be separated from this species by its growth on D-ribose and erythritol. C. kuoii produces sophorolipids that have an open chain structure similar to C. batistae, C. riodocensis, and C. stellata, which is in contrast to the closed chain sophorolipids produced by S. bombicola and C. apicola.