Description of Taphrina antarctica f.a. sp. nov., a new anamorphic ascomycetous yeast species associated with Antarctic endolithic microbial communities and transfer of four Lalaria species in the genus Taphrina

Extremophiles. 2014 Jul;18(4):707-21. doi: 10.1007/s00792-014-0651-z. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


In the framework of a large-scale rock sampling in Continental Antarctica, a number of yeasts have been isolated. Two strains that are unable to grow above 20 °C and that have low ITS sequence similarities with available data in the public domain were found. The D1/D2 LSU molecular phylogeny placed them in an isolated position in the genus Taphrina, supporting their affiliation to a not yet described species. Because the new species is able to grow in its anamorphic state only, the species Taphrina antarctica f.a. (forma asexualis) sp. nov. has been proposed to accommodate both strains (type strain DBVPG 5268(T), DSM 27485(T) and CBS 13532(T)). Lalaria and Taphrina species are dimorphic ascomycetes, where the anamorphic yeast represents the saprotrophic state and the teleomorph is the parasitic counterpart on plants. This is the first record for this genus in Antarctica; since plants are absent on the continent, we hypothesize that the fungus may have focused on the saprotrophic part of its life cycle to overcome the absence of its natural host and adapt environmental constrains. Following the new International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants (Melbourne Code 2011) the reorganization of Taphrina-Lalaria species in the teleomorphic genus Taphrina is proposed. We emend the diagnosis of the genus Taphrina to accommodate asexual saprobic states of these fungi. Taphrina antarctica was registered in MycoBank under MB 808028.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antarctic Regions
  • Ascomycota / cytology
  • Ascomycota / genetics
  • Ascomycota / isolation & purification*
  • Ascomycota / physiology
  • Geologic Sediments / microbiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Reproduction, Asexual