The ecology and diversity of phylloplane yeasts is less well understood in tropical regions than in temperate ones. Therefore, we investigated the yeast diversity associated with the phylloplane of corn, an economically important crop in Thailand, by a culture-dependent method. Thirty-six leaf samples were collected and 217 yeast strains were isolated by plating leaf-washings. The strains were grouped by PCR-fingerprinting and representative strains were identified by analysis of the D1/D2 domain of the large subunit rRNA gene. In total, 212 strains were identified within 10 species in the Ascomycota and 32 species in the Basidiomycota. Five strains represented potential new species in the Basidiomycota, one strain was recently described as Papiliotrema plantarum, and four strains belonged to the genera Vishniacozyma and Rhodotorula. A higher number of strains in the Basidiomycota (81.6%) was obtained. Hannaella sinensis was the species with the highest occurrence. Principal coordinates analysis ordinations of yeast communities revealed that there were no differences in the similarity of the sampling sites. The estimation of the expected species richness showed that the observed species richness was lower than expected. This work indicated that a majority of yeast associated with the phylloplane of corn plant belongs to the phylum Basidiomycota.
- Corn leaf