Jump to Main Content
C. P. Kurtzman's evolving concepts of species, genus and higher categories
- Lachance, Marc-André
- FEMS yeast research 2018 v.18 no.8
- Cletus, genetic distance, phylogeny, yeasts
- Cletus P. Kurtzman transformed the way yeast systematists practice their trade and how they perceive the yeast species. He redefined many genera of ascomycetous yeasts and provided a sound basis upon which to base higher taxonomic categories. Within his extraordinary corpus lies a trail of elements that can be used to reconstruct his evolving vision of the concepts that underlie the species and the genus, rarely set in a theoretical framework. While occasionally tipping his hat to the biological and phylogenetic species, Kurtzman espoused a concept founded primarily on genetic distance, even when claiming otherwise. In contrast, his notion of genus incorporated components of both genetic distance and phylogenetic structure, and possibly a size consideration. A phylogenetic approach predominated with higher taxa.