Here, we report on two novel sexual basidiomycetous red yeast species of the genus Cystofilobasidium. Cystofilobasidium lacus-mascardii sp. nov. is based on sexually compatible strains isolated from Lake Mascardi, an ultraoligotrophic lake in north-western Patagonia, Argentina. Following the discovery of the first isolate of this species, additional (sexually compatible) strains were isolated using a selective medium containing erythritol as the sole source of carbon. The second novel species corresponds to the sexual state of Cryptococcus macerans. In spite of accounts over the last 20 years of sexually compatible strains of this species, the complete life has never been observed. We provide evidence of a Cystofilobasidium-like basidial stage with teliospores and slender holobasidia, based on the study of self-fertile (homothallic) and self-sterile (heterothallic) isolates of Cryptococcus macerans. A revised molecular phylogeny of the genus Cystofilobasidium is presented and the most salient features of Cystofilobasidium lacus-mascardii sp. nov. (type strain CBS 10642T =PYCC 5819T =CRUB 1046T) and Cystofilobasidium macerans sp. nov. (type strain CBS 10757T) are discussed and compared with those of the remaining species in the genus. Information on additional Patagonian isolates belonging to the Cystofilobasidiales is also included in this report.
Cryptococcus terrestris sp. nov. (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycotina, Tremellomycetes, Tremellales) is typified by CJDX4 Y23T (=CBS 10810T =NRRL Y-48451T), isolated from forest soil in Oklahoma, USA. This species is most readily identified by the sequence of the D1/D2 domain region of the 26S rDNA and ITS (internal transcribed spacer) region. Additional strains from Oklahoma (C107DX4 Y11 =CBS 10813 =NRRL Y-48452) and Brazil (Ep11c =CBS 10812 =NRRL Y-48454; 56e =CBS 10811 =NRRL Y-48453) either had identical sequences or differed minimally. C. terrestris differs physiologically from the most closely related species, Cryptococcus flavescens, by the weak or delayed assimilation of ribose and salicin, and differs from Cryptococcus aureus by the utilization of nitrate and nitrite and growth in vitamin-free medium.