Homothallic life cycle in the diploid red yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous (Phaffia rhodozyma)

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Sexual activity was induced in the basidiomyceteous Phaffia rhodozyma (Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous) by depletion of nitrogen from the culture medium. This activity involved both mating between two yeast cells and the formation of basidiospores. Mating is possibly started by a G1 phase arrest of the cell cycle, as in other yeasts. The life cycle exhibited homothallic features. Crosses between genetically marked strains, and pulse-field gel electrophoresis of the chromosomal DNA of cells derived from individual spores revealed evidence of karyogamy, meiosis and even recombination. The segregation ratio in tetrads pointed to diploid vegetative cells, which formed tetraploid zygotes and the immediate meiosis then gave rise to diploid progenies again. Apart from the type strain Phaffia rhodozyma CBS 5905, all the examined strains were able to sporulate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 25 1998



  • Basidiomycetous yeast
  • Homothallic life cycle
  • Phaffia
  • Polymorphic chromosomes
  • Xanthophyllomyces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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