, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 175-185

Identification of species of the genus Candida by analysis of the 5.8S rRNA gene and the two ribosomal internal transcribed spacers

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The PCR amplification and subsequent restriction analysis of the ribosomal region spanning the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA gene is applied to the identification of yeasts belonging to the genus Candida. This methodology has previously been used for the identification of some species of this genus, but in the present work this application has been applied to the identification and characterisation of a greater number of species of the genus Candida, with a special survey of species of clinical and biotechnological interest. Among the species of the genus Candida, the high variability observed, both in the length of the amplified region (ranging between 390 and 900 bp) and in their restriction patterns, allows the unequivocal identification to the species level, with the exception of the group of species that comprises C. membranifaciens, C. conglobata, C. atlantica, C. atmosphaerica, and C. oleophila, that required the sequencing of the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rRNA gene or the 5.8S–ITS region for their proper differentiation. The 5.8S–ITS restriction analysis also failed in the differentiation of species within the pairs C.aaseri/C.butyri,C.fructus/C.musae,C.santamariae var. santamariae/C. beechii and C. zeylanoides/C. krissii. In this case, the high sequence similarities obtained for their 26S D1/D2 domain and the 5.8S–ITS region indicate that each pair of species should be considered as a single species. The main purpose of this work is to generate a database for a high number of yeast species, of both biotechnological and clinical interest, and to facilitate their easy, fast, and reliable identification. The present work improves the database available online at the IATA web page (http://motor.edinfo.es/iata/) with the patterns of 75 species belonging to the genus Candida.