Diversity and characterization of cultivable oleaginous yeasts isolated from mangrove forests

  • Sineenath Kunthiphun
  • Puthita Chokreansukchai
  • Patcharaporn Hondee
  • Somboon Tanasupawat
  • Ancharida Savarajara
Original Paper


A total of 198 yeasts were isolated from 140 samples collected from 7 mangrove forests in 4 provinces of Thailand, and were found to belong to 30 genera, 45 described species and at least 12 undescribed species based on their 26S rRNA (D1/D2 domain) gene sequence. The most prevalent species was Candida tropicalis, followed by Candida pseudolambica and Rhodosporidium paludigena. Lipid accumulation, as determined by Nile red staining, of the isolated yeasts revealed that 69 and 18 strains were positive and strongly positive, respectively, while quantitative analysis of the intracellular lipid accumulated in the latter indicated that 10 of these strains, Pseudozyma tsukubaensis (YWT7-2 and YWT7-3), Rhodotorula sphaerocarpa (YWW6-1 and SFL14-1SF), Saitozyma podzolica (YWT1-1, NS3-3 and NS10-2), Prototheca zopfii var. hydrocarbonea OMS6-1 and Prototheca sp. (YMTW3-1 and YMTS5-2), were oleaginous. In this study we found that under nitrogen depletion condition (155 C/N ratio) Pseudozyma tsukubaensis YWT7-2 accumulated the highest level of intracellular lipid at 32.4% (w/w, dry cell weight), with a broadly similar fatty acid composition to that in palm oil.


Intracellular lipids Oily yeast Oleaginous yeast Pseudozyma tsukubaensis Triglyceride 



We appreciate Dr Robert D. J. Butcher for his assistance in English proofreading and valuable comments on the manuscript. We are grateful anonymous reviewers for valuable comments to improve the quality of manuscript. This research was supported by National Research University Project, Office of Higher Education Commission (WCU-58-016-EN) and the Ratchadapisek Sompote Fund for Postdoctoral Fellowship, Chulalongkorn University.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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