Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Systematics of the ascomycetous yeasts assessed from ribosomal RNA sequence divergence


Extent of divergence in partial nucleotide sequences from large and small subunit ribosomal RNAs was used to estimate genetic relationships among ascomycetous yeasts and yeastlike fungi. The comparisons showed four phylogenetically distinct groups comprised of the following taxa: Group 1. The budding yeastsSaccharomyces, Saccharomycopsis, Debaryomyces, Metschnikowia, Saturnospora, andLipomyces, and the yeastlike generaAscoidea, Cephaloascus, Dipodascus, Dipodascopsis, andGalactomyces; Group 2.Eremascus, Emericella andCeratocystis; Group 3.Taphrina andProtomyces; Group 4.Schizosaccharomyces. Because of the genetic relationships indicated by sequence analysis, Group 1 taxa are retained in the order Endomycetales, andSchizosaccharomyces is retained in the Schizosaccharomycetales Prillinger et al. ex Kurtzman.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arx JA von & Walt JP van der (1987) Ophiostomatales and Endomycetales. Stud. Mycol. 30: 167–176

  2. Barns SM, Lane DJ, Sogin ML, Bibeau C & Weisburg G (1991) Evolutionary relationships among pathogenicCandida species and relatives. J. Bacteriol. 173: 2250–2255

  3. Berbee ML & Taylor JW (1992) Two ascomycete classes based on fruiting-body characters and ribosomal DNA sequence. Mol. Biol. Evol. 9: 278–284

  4. Britten RJ (1986) Rates of DNA sequence evolution differ between taxonomic groups. Science 231: 1393–1398

  5. Bruns TD, White TJ & Taylor JW (1991) Fungal molecular systematics. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 22: 525–564

  6. Cain RF (1972) Evolution of the fungi. Mycologia 64: 1–14

  7. Fell JW, Statzell-Tallman A, Lutz MJ & Kurtzman CP (1992) Partial rRNA sequences in marine yeasts: a model for identification of marine eukaryotes. Mol. Marine Biol. Biotech. 1: 175–186

  8. Felsenstein J (1991) PHYLIP-Phylogeny inference programs, version 3.4. Univ. Washington, Seattle

  9. Field KG, Olsen GJ, Lane DJ, Giovannoni SJ, Chiselin MT, Raff EC, Pace NR & Raff RA (1988) Molecular phylogeny of the animal kingdom. Science 239: 748–753

  10. Georgiev OI, Nikolaev N, Hadjiolov AA, Skryabin KG, Zakharyev VM & Bayev AA (1981) The structure of the yeast ribosomal RNA genes. 4. Complete sequence of the 25S rRNA gene fromSaccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 9: 6953–6958

  11. Guého E, Kurtzman CP & Peterson SW (1989) Evolutionary affinities of heterobasidiomycetous yeasts estimated from 18S and 25S ribosomal RNA sequence divergence. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 12: 230–236

  12. ——(1990) Phylogenetic relationships among species ofSterigmatomyces andFellomyces as determined from partial ribosomal RNA sequences. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 40: 60–65

  13. Guilliermond A (1912) Les levures. Encyclopédie Scientifique. O. Doin et Fils, Paris

  14. Hausner G, Reid J & Klassen GR (1992) Do galeate-ascospore members of the Cephaloascaceae, Endomycetaceae and Ophiostomataceae share a common phylogeny? Mycologia 84: 870–881

  15. Hendriks L, Goris A, Van de Peer Y, Neefs J-M, Vancanneyt M, Kersters K, Berny J-F, Hennebert GL & De Wachter R (1992) Phylogenetic relationships among ascomycetes and ascomycete-like yeasts as deduced from small ribosomal subunit RNA sequences. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 15: 98–104

  16. Hinegardner R (1976) Evolution of genome size. In: Ayala FJ (Ed) Molecular evolution (pp 179–199). Sinauer Assoc., Sunderland, Massachusetts

  17. Kudriavzev VI (1960) Die Systematik der Hefen. Akademie Verlag, Berlin

  18. Kurtzman CP (1985) Molecular taxonomy of the fungi. In: Bennett JW & Lasure LL (Eds) Gene manipulations in fungi (pp 35–63) Academic Press, Orlando, Florida

  19. Kurtzman CP & Liu Z (1990) Evolutionary affinities of species assigned toLipomyces andMyxozyma estimated from ribosomal RNA sequence divergence. Curr. Microbiol. 21: 387–393

  20. Kurtzman CP & Robnett CJ (1991) Phylogenetic relationships among species ofSaccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, Debaryomyces andSchwanniomyces determined from partial ribosomal RNA sequences. Yeast 7: 61–72

  21. Lane DJ, Pace B, Olsen GJ, Stahl DA, Sogin ML & Pace NR (1985) Rapid determination of 16S ribosomal RNA sequences for phylogenetic analyses. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82: 6955–6959

  22. Liu Z & Kurtzman CP (1991) Phylogenetic relationships among species ofWilliopsis andSaturnospora gen. nov. as determined from partial rRNA sequences. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 60: 21–30

  23. Mankin AS, Skryabin KG & Rubtsov PM (1986) Identification of ten additional nucleotides in the primary structure of yeast 18S rRNA. Gene 44: 143–145

  24. Mendonça-Hagler LC, Hagler AN & Kurtzman CP (1993) Phylogeny ofMetschnikowia species estimated from partial rRNA sequences. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 43: 368–373

  25. Ochman H & Wilson C (1987) Evolution in bacteria: evidence for a universal substitution rate in cellular genomes. J. Mol. Evol. 26: 74–86

  26. Peterson SW & Kurtzman CP (1990) Phylogenetic relationships among species of the genusIssatchenkia Kudriavzev. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 58: 235–240

  27. ——(1991) Ribosomal RNA sequence divergence among sibling species of yeasts. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 14: 124–129

  28. Prillinger H, Dörfler Ch, Laaser G, Eckerlein B & Lehle L (1990) Ein Beitrag zur Systematik und Entwicklungsbiologie Höhere Pilze: Hefe-Typen der Basisiomyceten. Teil I: Schizosaccharomycetales, Protomyces-Typ. Z. Mykol. 56: 219–250

  29. Redhead SA & Malloch DW (1977) The Endomycetaceae: new concepts, new taxa. Can. J. Bot. 55: 1701–1711

  30. Rubtsov PM, Musakhanov MM, Zakharyev VM, Krayev AS, Skryabin KG & Bayev AA (1980) The complete structure of yeast ribosomal RNA genes. I. The complete nucleotide sequence of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene fromSaccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 8: 5779–5794

  31. Russell P & Nurse P (1986)Schizosaccharomyces pombe andSaccharomyces cerevisiae: a look at yeasts divided. Cell 45: 781–782

  32. Sanger F, Nicklen S & Coulson AR (1977) DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74: 5463–5467

  33. Simon-Becam A-M, Claisse M & Lederer F (1978) Cytochromec fromSchizosaccharomyces pombe. Eur. J. Biochem. 86: 407–416

  34. Smith TL (1989) Disparate evolution of yeasts and filamentous fungi indicated by phylogenetic analysis of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 86: 7063–7066

  35. Sugiyama J & Suh S-O (1993) Phylogenetic analysis of basidiomycetous yeasts by means of 18S ribosomal RNA sequences: relationship ofErythrobasidium hasegawianum and other basidiomycetous yeast taxa. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 63: 201–209

  36. Swofford DL (1991) PAUP: Phylogenetic analysis using parsimony, 3.0s. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois

  37. Timberlake WE (1978) Low repetitive DNA content inAspergillus nidulans. Science 202: 973–975

  38. Walker WF (1985) 5S ribosomal RNA sequences from ascomycetes and evolutionary implications. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 6: 48–53

  39. Walt JP van der (1987) The yeasts — a conspectus. Stud. Mycol. 30: 19–31

  40. Weisburg WG, Tully JG, Rose DL, Petzel JP, Oyaizu H, Yang D, Mandelco L, Sechrest J, Lawrence TG, van Etten J, Maniloff J & Woese CR (1989) A phylogenetic analysis of the mycoplasmas: basis for their classification. J. Bacteriol. 171: 6455–6467

  41. Wickerham LJ (1951) Taxonomy of yeasts. U.S. Dept. Agric. Tech. Bull. 1029: 1–56

  42. Woese CR (1987) Bacterial evolution. Microbiol. Rev. 51: 221–271

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kurtzman, C.P. Systematics of the ascomycetous yeasts assessed from ribosomal RNA sequence divergence. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 63, 165–174 (1993).

Download citation

Key words

  • endomycetales
  • phylogeny
  • ribosomal RNA
  • schizosaccharomycetales
  • taxonomy
  • yeasts