Assessment of yeast diversity in a marine environment in the south of Portugal by microsatellite-primed PCR.

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The occurrence and diversity of yeasts in seawater was investigated in a study site located 20 Km off Faro, Portugal, above the Alvares Cabral Trench. A total of 43 water samples from different layers (above the permanent thermocline, under the thermocline and near the bottom) and directly from the surface, originated 234 isolates. All the isolates were identified using a molecular approach that included, in a first stage, MSP-PCR fingerprinting. A total of 31 MSP-PCR classes were formed, 8 for the pigmented yeasts and 23 for the non-pigmented yeasts. The pink coloured isolates were identified by direct comparison of the new fingerprints with those obtained for representative strains of the various species. For identification of the non-pigmented yeasts, a representative isolate of each MSP-PCR class was selected for sequence analysis and compared with reference sequences. The five most abundant yeast species were Sakaguchia dacryoidea, Pseudozyma aphidis, Rhodosporidium babjevae, R. diobovatum and Debaryomyces hansenii. The distribution of isolates and species in the major taxonomic groups indicated that the number of basidiomycetous yeasts and their diversity are prevalent in relation to their ascomycetous counterpart. Diversity indices were determined and superficial water and water near the bottom had the highest diversity. The sampling effort effectiveness was estimated, and found to correspond to approximately 60% of the species present. MSP-PCR identification proved suitable for pigmented basidiomycetous yeasts and, when used in conjunction with sequence analysis, was effective for the characterization of non-pigmented populations. Our results indicate that the MSP-PCR fingerprinting method is appropriate for the characterization of large groups of isolates due to its simplicity and good reproducibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalAntonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal Of General And Molecular Micr
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • MSP-PCR fingerprinting
  • Yeast diversity
  • 26S rDNA sequence
  • Aquatic yeasts


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