Nutrition and phylogeny of predacious yeasts

Can J Microbiol. 2000 Jun;46(6):495-505. doi: 10.1139/w00-021.


Yeast predation was studied with respect to the range of its distribution among ascomycetous yeasts, the range of yeast species that can be affected, and nutritional aspects of the phenomenon. The yeasts identified as predators belong to the Saccharomycopsis clade as defined on the basis of rDNA sequence relatedness. The 11 recognized species in the clade, plus three undescribed but related Candida species, were shown to be incapable of utilizing sulfate as sole source of sulfur, and all but two (Saccharomycopsis capsularis and Saccharomycopsis vini) were observed to penetrate and kill other yeasts under some conditions. Other unrelated sulfate transport-deficient yeasts (strains in the genera Pichia and Candida and the two known species of Starmera) are not predacious. The predacious species vary considerably as to the optimal environmental conditions that favour predation. Some are inhibited by the presence of rich nitrogenous nutrients, organic sulfur compounds, or higher concentrations of ammonium nitrogen, whereas other species may be stimulated under the same conditions. An attempt was made to correlate prey susceptibility to the excretion of substances that stimulate the growth of predators, but no correlation was detected between the two phenomena. The range of susceptible prey covers both ascomycetes and basidiomycetes, and includes Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which was previously thought to be immune. The achlorophyllous alga Prototheca zopfii is not killed by predacious yeasts, but the initial steps of penetration have been observed in some cases. Predacious species attack other predacious species, and in some cases, young cultures may penetrate older cultures of the same strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Saccharomycopsis / classification*
  • Saccharomycopsis / genetics
  • Saccharomycopsis / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sulfates / metabolism
  • Sulfur / metabolism*


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfur

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF203418
  • GENBANK/AF203419
  • GENBANK/AF203420