, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 125-131

Sporidiobolus johnsonii and Sporidiobolus salmonicolor revisited

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The relationship between Sporidiobolus johnsonii and S. salmonicolor was investigated using rDNA sequence data. Two statistically well-supported clades were obtained. One clade included the type strain of S. johnsonii and the other included the type strain of S. salmonicolor. However, some mating strains of S. salmonicolor were found in the S. johnsonii group. These strains belonged to mating type A2 and were sexually compatible with mating type A1 strains from the S. salmonicolor group. DNA–DNA reassociation values were high within each clade and moderate between the two clades. In the re-investigation of teliospore germination, we observed that the basidia of S. salmonicolor were two-celled. In S. johnsonii, basidia were not formed and teliospore germination resulted in direct formation of yeast cells. We hypothesize that the S. johnsonii clade is becoming genetically isolated from the S. salmonicolor group and that a speciation process is presently going on. We suspect that the observed sexual compatibility between strains of the S. johnsonii and S. salmonicolor groups and the possible genetic flow between the two species has little biological relevance because distinct phenotypes have been fixed in the two taxa and intermediate (hybrid) sequences for LSU and ITS rDNAs have not been detected.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11557-008-0556-2