Yeast methylotrophy and autophagy in a methanol-oscillating environment on growing Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25257. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025257. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


The yeast Candida boidinii capable of growth on methanol proliferates and survives on the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. The local methanol concentration at the phyllosphere of growing A. thaliana exhibited daily periodicity, and yeast cells responded by altering both the expression of methanol-inducible genes and peroxisome proliferation. Even under these dynamically changing environmental conditions, yeast cells proliferated 3 to 4 times in 11 days. Among the C1-metabolic enzymes, enzymes in the methanol assimilation pathway, but not formaldehyde dissimilation or anti-oxidizing enzymes, were necessary for yeast proliferation at the phyllosphere. Furthermore, both peroxisome assembly and pexophagy, a selective autophagy pathway that degrades peroxisomes, were necessary for phyllospheric proliferation. Thus, the present study sheds light on the life cycle and physiology of yeast in the natural environment at both the molecular and cellular levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology*
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Candida / growth & development*
  • Candida / metabolism*
  • Methanol / metabolism*


  • Methanol