Microbial Ecology

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 448–459 | Cite as

Diversity of Soil Yeasts Isolated from South Victoria Land, Antarctica

  • L. Connell
  • R. Redman
  • S. Craig
  • G. Scorzetti
  • M. Iszard
  • R. Rodriguez
Original Article


Unicellular fungi, commonly referred to as yeasts, were found to be components of the culturable soil fungal population in Taylor Valley, Mt. Discovery, Wright Valley, and two mountain peaks of South Victoria Land, Antarctica. Samples were taken from sites spanning a diversity of soil habitats that were not directly associated with vertebrate activity. A large proportion of yeasts isolated in this study were basidiomycetous species (89%), of which 43% may represent undescribed species, demonstrating that culturable yeasts remain incompletely described in these polar desert soils. Cryptococcus species represented the most often isolated genus (33%) followed by Leucosporidium (22%). Principle component analysis and multiple linear regression using stepwise selection was used to model the relation between abiotic variables (principle component 1 and principle component 2 scores) and yeast biodiversity (the number of species present at a given site). These analyses identified soil pH and electrical conductivity as significant predictors of yeast biodiversity. Species-specific PCR primers were designed to rapidly discriminate among the Dioszegia and Leucosporidium species collected in this study.



The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their help in improving this manuscript, K. Knight for soil collected from NB and SP sites; Dr. J. Fell, Dr. A. Fonseca, Dr. M-A. Lachance, and A. Tallman, for help in assessing isolates that may represent previously undescribed species; Dr. S. Coghlan for statistical advice; J. Perkins, M. Jani, K. Clegg and A. Barrett for laboratory assistance; B. Schulz and our TEA participant A. Stoyles for field work; Raytheon Polar Support Service, UNAVCO, and PHI for logistical and laboratory support while in Antarctica. Funding was provided for this project by NSF Office of Polar Programs to LC and RR (OPP-0125611) and by USGS (RR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Connell
    • 1
  • R. Redman
    • 2
    • 4
  • S. Craig
    • 1
  • G. Scorzetti
    • 5
  • M. Iszard
    • 1
  • R. Rodriguez
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Marine SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.MicrobiologyMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Geological Survey, WFRCSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Biology DepartmentUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.University of Miami, RSMASKey BiscayneUSA

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