Phylogenetic relationships among species of Saccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, Debaryomyces and Schwanniomyces determined from partial ribosomal RNA sequences

Yeast. 1991 Jan;7(1):61-72. doi: 10.1002/yea.320070107.


Species of the genera Saccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, Debaryomyces and Schwanniomyces were compared from their extent of divergence in three regions from small (18S) and large (25S) subunit ribosomal RNAs comprising a total of 900 nucleotides. With the exception of the closely related Saccharomyces bayanus and S. pastorianus, which appear to have identical sequences, all other species could be distinguished by nucleotide differences in a variable region of the large subunit, and genus-specific nucleotides were discernible in all three regions. The taxon D. tamarii differed markedly from other species and is excluded from Debaryomyces. By contrast, Schwanniomyces occidentalis showed few nucleotide differences with Debaryomyces spp. and its transfer to Debaryomyces is proposed. Schizosaccharomyces proved to be somewhat more divergent than Saccharomyces and Debaryomyces, but species differences appear insufficient for dividing the genus. Some of the factors influencing estimates of phylogenetic distances from rRNA sequences are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • RNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • RNA, Ribosomal / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces / classification
  • Saccharomyces / genetics*
  • Saccharomycetales / classification
  • Saccharomycetales / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / classification
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Yeasts / classification
  • Yeasts / genetics


  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Ribosomal