Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 599–614 | Cite as

A teleomorph of the ustilaginalean yeast Moesziomyces antarcticus on barnyardgrass in Japan provides bioresources that degrade biodegradable plastics

  • Eiji TanakaEmail author
  • Motoo Koitabashi
  • Hiroko Kitamoto
Original Paper


The basidiomycetous yeast Moesziomyces antarcticus (often cited as Pseudozyma antarctica), originally isolated from a sediment sample obtained from Lake Vanda in Antarctica, was asexually typified but closely related to the smut fungus Moesziomyces bullatus (Ustilaginales). We found a smut fungus on an ovary of barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) in Japan, which had been identified as M. bullatus. The teliospores germinated and formed yeast-like colonies. Physiological and phylogenetic studies revealed that the characteristics of the yeast-like isolates coincided with those of “P. antarctica.” We thus recognised the smut fungus as the teleomorph of M. antarcticus, and then emended the description of M. antarcticus based on the holomorph. The identified fungus could degrade certain biodegradable plastics and produce mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) in similar qualities as the “P. antarctica” type strain. This discovery provides a significant bioresource, as genetically diverse M. antarcticus isolates could be obtained from the smut fungus.


Basidiomycetous yeast Holomorph Pseudozyma antarctica Smut fungi Teleomorph–anamorph connection Ustilaginaceae 



The authors are very grateful to Dr. Junta Sugiyama (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo) for his kind advice of this article. We thank Dr. Shumpei Kitamura and Kanae Hoshi (Ishikawa Prefectural Univ.) who found the smut fungi. This work was not supported by particular fund.

Authors’ contribution

E. Tanaka and M. Koitabashi conceived of this study and prepared samples. E. Tanaka and H. Kitamoto performed experiments and analyzed data. E. Tanaka wrote the paper. All authors provided critical feedback, discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10482_2018_1190_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (57.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 58708 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ishikawa Prefectural UniversityNonoichiJapan
  2. 2.National Agricultural Food Research Organization (NARO)TsukubaJapan

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