Isolation and characterization of new Metschnikowia pulcherrima strains as producers of the antimicrobial pigment pulcherrimin

Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. May-Jun 2009;64(5-6):405-10. doi: 10.1515/znc-2009-5-618.


Metschnikowia pulcherrima is a highly effective biocontrol yeast due to its pigment pulcherrimin that accumulates in the cells and in the growth medium. Three different strains of M. pulcherrima were isolated from local grapes. The yeast isolates were characterized on the basis of their biochemical, physiological and ITS1-5.8 s rDNA-ITS2 region. Based on the obtained results, the M. pulcherrima isolates were identified as new strains of M. pulcherrima. Strong antagonistic activities of the M. pulcherrima strains on the human pathogens Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei, and Trichosporon mucoides were determined. In addition, antagonistic effects of these M. pulcherrima strains were also tested against Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma spp., Paecilomyces spp., and Bipolaris spp. and it was shown that the three different strains of M. pulcherrima also have an antagonistic effect on the growth of these fungal species at different extents. This study showed that all three strains of M. pulcherrima produce the same amount of the pigment pulcherrimin, but their antimicrobial activities on different microorganisms show important variations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Sulfur / isolation & purification*
  • Amino Acids, Sulfur / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Gene Amplification
  • Humans
  • Metschnikowia / chemistry*
  • Metschnikowia / genetics
  • Metschnikowia / isolation & purification
  • Piperidines / isolation & purification*
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteus vulgaris / drug effects
  • Vitis / microbiology


  • Amino Acids, Sulfur
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Piperidines
  • pulcherrimine