Five novel Candida species in insect-associated yeast clades isolated from Neuroptera and other insects

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Ascomycete yeasts are found commonly in the guts of basidioma-feeding beetles but little is known about their occurrence in the gut of other insects. In this study we isolated 95 yeasts from the gut of adult insects in five neuropteran families (Neuroptera: Corydalidae, Chrysopidae, Ascalaphidae, Mantispidae and Hemerobiidae) and a roach (Blattodea: Blattidae). Based on DNA sequence comparisons and other taxonomic characteristics, they were identified as more than 15 species of Saccharomycetes as well as occasional Cryptococcus-like basidiomycete yeasts. Yeast species such as Lachancea fermentati, Lachancea thermotolerans and Hanseniaspora vineae were isolated repeatedly from the gut of three species of corydalids, suggesting a close association of these species and their insect hosts. Among the yeasts isolated in this study 12 were identified as five novel Candida species that occurred in three phylogenetically distinct clades. Molecular phylogenetic analyses showed that Candida chauliodes sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27909T) and Candida corydali sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27910T) were sister taxa in the Candida albicans/ Lodderomyces elongisporus clade. Candida dosseyi sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27950T) and Candida blattae sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27698T) were sister taxa in the Candida intermedia clade. Candida ascalaphidarum sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27908T) fell on a basal branch in a clade containing Candida membranifaciens and many other insect-associated species. Descriptions of these novel yeast species are provided as well as discussion of their ecology in relation to their insect hosts.

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