Phylogenetic relationships of Malassezia species based on multilocus sequence analysis
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Members of the genus Malassezia are lipophilic basidiomycetous yeasts, which are part of the normal cutaneous microbiota of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Currently, this genus consists of 14 species that have been characterized by phenetic and molecular methods. Although several molecular methods have been used to identify and/or differentiate Malassezia species, the sequencing of the rRNA genes and the chitin synthase-2 gene (CHS2) are the most widely employed. There is little information about the beta-tubulin gene in the genus Malassezia, a gene has been used for the analysis of complex species groups. The aim of the present study was to sequence a fragment of the beta-tubulin gene of Malassezia species and analyze their phylogenetic relationship using a multilocus sequence approach based on two rRNA genes (ITS including 5.8S rRNA and D1/D2 region of 26S rRNA) together with two protein encoding genes (CHS2 and beta-tubulin). The phylogenetic study of the partial beta-tubulin gene sequences indicated that this molecular marker can be used to assess diversity and identify new species. The multilocus sequence analysis of the four loci provides robust support to delineate species at the terminal nodes and could help to estimate divergence times for the origin and diversification of Malassezia species.