Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Assessment of endophytic yeast diversity in rice leaves by a culture-independent approach.

PMID 26122889


Endophytic microorganisms inhabit internal plant tissues in the host plant without causing any symptoms or negative effects. Although the diversity of endophytes has been evaluated by both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods, less information is available on yeast communities. Therefore, in this study a culture-independent method was used to examine endophytic yeasts associated with rice leaves based on the large subunit of ribosomal DNA using a semi-nested PCR technique. Sequence analysis indicated that the colonization frequency and the relative species frequency (RF) of endophytic yeast phylotypes were 0.41 and 0.06, respectively, and the majority of the yeast phylotypes were basidiomycetous yeasts. The phylotypes were designated as five known species (Cryptococcus victoriae, Debaryomyces hansenii, Debaryomyces vindobonensis, Meyerozyma guilliermondii and Pseudozyma antarctica), together with seventeen phylotypes closest to Candida metapsilosis, Cryp. foliicola, Cryp. laurentii, Pseudozyma abaconensis, Pseudozyma aphidis and Trichosporon asahii, among which some could be novel species. The most prevalent phylotypes were those closest to Cryp. foliicola (47.5 % RF) followed by D. hansenii (22.8 % RF) and P. antarctica (16.8 % RF). The presence of the phylotypes related to species known for their potential applications as biocontrol agents and plant growth promoting hormone producers suggests that they may have valuable applications. In addition, our findings revealed the occurrence of novel phylotypes at high frequency, which should encourage extensive studies to discover novel yeast species and to understand their roles in the rice leaves.