Diversity of Yeasts from Puddles in the Vicinity of Midre Lovénbreen Glacier, Arctic and Bioprospecting for Enzymes and Fatty Acids
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A total of 132 yeast strains were characterised from 4 sediment samples collected from small puddles in the vicinity of Midre Lovénbreen glacier, Arctic. Based on the D1/D2 domain sequence similarity, the isolates could be categorised into 6 groups. The nearest phylogenetic neighbour of groups I to VI were identified as Cryptococcus gastricus, Cryptococcus terricolus, Rhodotorula muscorum, Mrakia psychrophila, Mrakia gelida and Rhodotorula glacialis, respectively. Strains representative of the six groups were psychrophilic and salt tolerant but varied in their ability to produce cold-active extracellular enzymes such as lipase, protease, pectinase, cellulase and amylase. C18:1 (w9C) and C18:2 (w9,12C) were the only two fatty acids common to all the yeasts and branched and (or) unsaturated fatty acids increased in yeasts growing at 8°C compared to 22°C, probably as an adaptation to low temperature. The present study establishes that psychrophilic yeasts are predominant in Arctic and could be used as work horses to produce cold-active enzymes and poly unsaturated fatty acids which have been implicated in low temperature adaptation and also for their use in biotechnology.
KeywordsCellulase Unsaturated Fatty Acid Rhodotorula Yeast Nitrogen Base Tributyrin
We would like to thank the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India for financial support to SS. SS would also like to thank NCAOR and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, for providing the financial and logistic support for the trip to Arctic.
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