The diversity and extracellular enzymatic activities of yeasts isolated from water tanks of Vriesea minarum, an endangered bromeliad species in Brazil, and the description of Occultifur brasiliensis f.a., sp. nov

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2015 Feb;107(2):597-611. doi: 10.1007/s10482-014-0356-4. Epub 2014 Dec 17.


The diversity of yeast species collected from the bromeliad tanks of Vriesea minarum, an endangered bromeliad species, and their ability to produce extracellular enzymes were studied. Water samples were collected from 30 tanks of bromeliads living in a rupestrian field site located at Serrada Piedade, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, during both the dry and rainy seasons. Thirty-six species were isolated, representing 22 basidiomycetous and 14 ascomycetous species. Occultifur sp., Cryptococcus podzolicus and Cryptococcus sp. 1 were the prevalent basidiomycetous species. The yeast-like fungus from the order Myriangiales, Candida silvae and Aureobasidium pullulans were the most frequent ascomycetous species. The diversity of the yeast communities obtained between seasons was not significantly different, but the yeast composition per bromeliad was different between seasons. These results suggest that there is significant spatial heterogeneity in the composition of populations of the yeast communities within bromeliad tanks, independent of the season. Among the 352 yeast isolates tested, 282 showed at least one enzymatic activity. Protease activity was the most widely expressed extracellular enzymatic activity, followed by xylanase, amylase, pectinase and cellulase activities. These enzymes may increase the carbon and nitrogen availability for the microbial food web in the bromeliad tank of V. minarum. Sequence analyses revealed the existence of 10 new species, indicating that bromeliad tanks are important sources of new yeasts. The novel species Occultifur brasiliensis, f.a., sp. nov., is proposed to accommodate the most frequently isolated yeast associated with V. minarum. The type strain of O. brasiliensis, f.a., sp. nov. is UFMG-CM-Y375(T) (= CBS 12687(T)). The Mycobank number is MB 809816.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Brazil
  • Bromeliaceae / microbiology*
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Enzymes / analysis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Seasons
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Yeasts / classification*
  • Yeasts / enzymology*
  • Yeasts / isolation & purification


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Enzymes

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KC959475