Chapter 2 : Taxonomy

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Members of the genus generally are considered to be yeasts that are nonfermentative, assimilate inositol, and produce urease. Besides the pathogenic , at least 38 other species have been found in a wide variety of environmental locations. Humans are frequently exposed to these species, which can be found in aqueous environments, soil, human skin such as toe webs, and bird guano, but for all practical purposes should be considered the only species to consistently cause cryptococcosis. Despite the differences in morphology, biochemistry, ecology, and pathogenicity, and are phylogenetically related and belong in the same genus based upon DNA homology. Although taxonomic relationships between and have been based on fatty acid compositions and other phenotypic characteristics, molecular phylogeny studies provide the most objective evidence for genus and species relationships. The molecular phylogeny of in relationship to other closely related fungi has continued to be elucidated. As more genetic loci, such as the conserved actin gene, are sequenced and compared, the phylogenetic relationships on a molecular level can be interpreted further with regard to classical methods of taxonomy.

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Taxonomy, p 29-40. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch2

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Cryptococcus gattii
Pneumocystis carinii
Schizosaccharomyces pombe
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Figure 1

Phylogenetic relations within Amastigomycota as derived from parsimony analysis of 1,927 nucleotides of small subunit rDNA sequences. (From reference with permission.)

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Taxonomy, p 29-40. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch2
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

General phylogeny of and related species from partial sequence rDNA large subunit. (From reference with permission.)

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Taxonomy, p 29-40. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch2
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Generic image for table
Table 1

species (other than ) and where they are found

Table compiled from data in reference .

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Taxonomy, p 29-40. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch2
Generic image for table

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Taxonomy, p 29-40. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch2

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