Ecology and functional potential of phyllosphere yeasts

Trends Plant Sci. 2022 Nov;27(11):1109-1123. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2022.06.007. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


The phyllosphere (i.e., the aerial parts of plants) harbors a rich microbial life, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeasts. Current knowledge of yeasts stems primarily from industrial and medical research on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, both of which can be found on plant tissues. For most other yeasts found in the phyllosphere, little is known about their ecology and functions. Here, we explore the diversity, dynamics, interactions, and genomics of yeasts associated with plant leaves and how tools and approaches developed for model yeasts can be adopted to disentangle the ecology and natural functions of phyllosphere yeasts. A first genomic survey exemplifies that we have only scratched the surface of the largely unexplored functional potential of phyllosphere yeasts.

Keywords: adaptive traits; environmental yeasts; functional characterization; omics; plant–microbe interactions.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Ecology*
  • Fungi
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plants / microbiology
  • Yeasts* / genetics