Two yeast isolates producing asci-containing elongate ascospores with curved ends typical of the genus Spathaspora were isolated from rotting wood samples collected in an Atlantic rainforest ecosystem in Brazil. Phylogenetic analysis of the LSU rRNA gene D1/D2 domain sequences demonstrated that the strains represent a new species and placed it next to Candida blackwellae, in a clade that also contains Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis. Other sequences of the ribosomal gene cluster supported same placementin the same clade, and a phylogenomic analysis placed this new species in an early emerging position relative to the larger C. albicans/Lodderomyces clade. One interpretation is that the genus Spathaspora is, in fact, paraphyletic. In conformity with this view, we propose the novel species Spathaspora boniae sp. nov. to accommodate the isolates. The type strain of Spathaspora boniae sp. nov. is UFMG-CM-Y306T (=CBS 13262T). The MycoBank number is MB 821297. A detailed analysis of xylose metabolism was conducted for the new species.
Keywords: Candida albicans-Lodderomyces; D-xylose; Spathaspora; Spathaspora boniae; new yeast species.