Candida theae sp. nov., a new anamorphic beverage-associated member of the Lodderomyces clade

Chin Feng Chang, Yu Ching Lin, Shan Fu Chen, Enrique Javier Carvaja Barriga, Patricia Portero Barahona, Stephen A. James, Christopher J. Bond, Ian N. Roberts, Ching Fu Lee

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Four strains representing a novel yeast species belonging to the genus Candida were independently isolated in Taiwan and Ecuador. Two strains (G17 T and G31) were isolated in Taiwan, by pellet precipitation from plastic-bottled tea drinks produced in Indonesia, while two additional strains (CLQCA 10-049 and CLQCA 10-062) were recovered from ancient chicha fermentation vessels found in tombs in Quito, Ecuador. These four strains were morphologically, and phylogenetically identical to each other. No sexual reproduction was observed on common sporulation media. Large-subunit (LSU) rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed the four strains to belong to the Lodderomyces clade, closely related to members of the Candida parapsilosis species complex. The four strains, which have identical LSU D1/D2 sequences, differ from their closest phylogenetic neighbors, Candida orthopsilosis and Candida parapsilosis, by 6-9 nt substitutions, respectively. Physiologically, the four strains are similar to Candida parapsilosis, although they can be distinguished from their closest relative by the assimilation of arbutin, nitrite, and creatine. The Indonesian and Ecuadorian strain sets can also be distinguished from one another based on ITS sequencing, differing by 4 substitutions in ITS1 and 1 single nucleotide indel in ITS2. Collectively, the results indicate that the four strains represent a previously unrecognized species of Candida. The name Candida theae sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate these strains, with G-17 T (BCRC 23242 T=CBS 12239 T=ATCC MYA-4746 T) designated as the type strain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Bottled tea
  • Chicha
  • Food spoilage
  • New species


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