Microbes have evolved ways of interference competition to gain advantage over their ecological competitors. The use of secreted antagonistic compounds by yeast cells is one of the prominent examples. Although this killer behavior has been thoroughly studied in laboratory yeast strains, our knowledge of the antagonistic specificity of killer effects in nature remains limited. In this study, yeast strains were collected from various niches and screened for antagonistic activity against one toxin-sensitive strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and three pathogenic fungi. We demonstrate that some strains with antagonistic activity against these pathogenic fungi can be found in antagonist culture tests. These yeasts were identified as members of Trichosporon asahii, Candida stellimalicola, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, Ustilago esculenta, Aureobasidium pullulans, and Pichia kluyveri. The results indicated that the antagonistic activity of these killer yeasts has a narrow optimal pH range. Furthermore, we found that the antagonistic activity of some species is strain-dependent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Microbiology (medical)