Phylogenetic analysis of five medically important Candida species as deduced on the basis of small ribosomal subunit RNA sequences.

The classification of species belonging to the genus Candida Berkhout is problematic. Therefore, we have determined the small ribosomal subunit RNA (srRNA) sequences of the type strains of three human pathogenic Candida species; Candida krusei, C. lusitaniae and C. tropicalis. The srRNA sequences were aligned with published eukaryotic srRNA sequences and evolutionary trees were inferred using a matrix optimization method. An evolutionary tree comprising all available eukaryotic srRNA sequences, including two other pathogenic Candida species, C. albicans and C. glabrata, showed that the yeasts diverge rather late in the course of eukaryote evolution, namely at the same depth as green plants, ciliates and some smaller taxa. The cluster of the higher fungi consists of 10 ascomycetes and ascomycete-like species with the first branches leading to Neurospora crassa, Pneumocystis carinii, Candida lusitaniae and C. krusei, in that order. Next there is a dichotomous divergence leading to a group consisting of Torulaspora delbrueckii, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, C. glabrata and Kluyveromyces lactis and a smaller group comprising C. tropicalis and C. albicans. The divergence pattern obtained on the basis of srRNA sequence data is also compared to various other chemotaxonomic data.

Hendriks, L., Goris, A., Van de Peer, Y., Neefs, J.-M., Vancanneyt, M., Kersters, K., Hennebert, G.L., De Wachter, R. (1991) Phylogenetic analysis of five medically important Candida species as deduced on the basis of small ribosomal subunit RNA sequences. J. Gen. Microbiol. 137(5):1223-30.









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