was first isolated in 1920 from the exudate of a chestnut tree in France, and described by A. Guilliermond as Zygosaccharomyces pastori . This isolate is the species type strain, CBS704, (= NRRL Y-1603) . Further strains were isolated from trees in California by H. Phaff, who named the species Pichia pastoris
in 1956 . For several decades, only few isolates existed, of which the strain NRRL Y-11430 (CBS7435), isolated from black oak tree in California, was developed as a platform for single cell protein by Philips Petroleum. This strain was then used as a basis for a development of the protein production system .
Based on ribosomal gene sequence data, P. pastoris
was re-classified in 1995 into a new phylogenetically distinct genus, Komagataella
, which was later split into several species based on 26S rRNA sequencing data . Currently six members of the genus Komagataella are described (K. pastoris
, K. phaffii
, K. pseudopastoris
, K. poluli
, K. ulmi
, and K. kurtzmanii
) . The established Pichia pastoris
protein production platforms are based on strains of either K. phaffii
or K. pastoris
. According to the rules of biological taxonomy, the former type strain of the species P. pastoris
CBS704 (NRRL Y-1603) remains the type strain of the genus Komagataella and of the species K. pastoris
. The Californian isolates mentioned above differ enough in their 26S rRNA sequence to justify their allocation to a new species, K. phaffii
Whole genome sequencing of K. pastoris
CBS704 and K. phaffii
CBS7435 ([8 – 10]) confirmed the presence of four chromosomes and a chromosome rearrangement between K. pastoris
and K. phaffii
, as identified by pulsed field gel electrophoresis . It should be noted however that the members of the genus Komagataella
are phenotypically very similar and cannot easily be distinguished from one another by routine fermentation and assimilation tests employed in yeast taxonomy, so that classification is mainly based on sequence comparisons of a limited number of genes. To avoid confusion and to include all strains employed in biotechnology we use the established name Pichia pastoris
here as a synonym for all Komagataella
species, giving reference to the different species for different strains, as listed in the table below.
- Guilliermond A. 1920. Zygosaccharomyces pastori, nouvelle espèce de levures copulation hétérogamique. Bulletin de la Société Mycologique de France 36:203-11.
- Phaff H, Miller M, Shifrine M. 1956. The taxonomy of yeasts isolated from Drosophila in the Yosemite region of California. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 22:145-61.
- Cregg JM, Barringer KJ, Hessler AY, Madden KR. 1985. Pichia pastoris as a host system for transformations. Mol Cell Biol 5:3376-85.
- Yamada Y, Matsuda M, Maeda K, Mikata K. 1995. The phylogenetic relationships of methanol-assimilating yeasts based on the partial sequences of 18S and 26S ribosomal RNAs: the proposal of Komagataella gen. nov. (Saccharomycetaceae). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 59:439-44.
- Kurtzman C. 2005. Description of Komagataella phaffii sp. nov. and the transfer of Pichia pseudopastoris to the methylotrophic yeast genus Komagataella. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 55:973-6.
- Naumov GI, Naumova ES, Tyurin OV, Kozlov DG. 2013. Komagataella kurtzmanii sp. nov., a new sibling species of Komagataella (Pichia) pastoris based on multigene sequence analysis. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 104:339-47.
- Kurtzman CP. 2009. Biotechnological strains of Komagataella (Pichia) pastoris are Komagataella phaffii as determined from multigene sequence analysis. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 36:1435-8.
- De Schutter K, Lin YC, Tiels P, Van Hecke A, Glinka S and others. 2009. Genome sequence of the recombinant protein production host Pichia pastoris. Nat Biotechnol 27:561-6.
- Mattanovich D, Graf A, Stadlmann J, Dragosits M, Redl A and others. 2009. Genome, secretome and glucose transport highlight unique features of the protein production host Pichia pastoris. Microb Cell Fact 8:29.
- Kuberl A, Schneider J, Thallinger GG, Anderl I, Wibberg D and others. 2011. High-quality genome sequence of Pichia pastoris CBS7435. J Biotechnol 154:312-20.
- Ohi H, Okazaki N, Uno S, Miura M, Hiramatsu R. 1998. Chromosomal DNA patterns and gene stability of Pichia pastoris. Yeast 14:895-903.