Mycological Progress

, 14:1019 | Cite as

Leaf-inhabiting endophytic yeasts are abundant but unevenly distributed in three Ficus species from botanical garden greenhouses in Germany

  • Michael Jay L. Solis
  • Andrey Yurkov
  • Thomas Edison dela Cruz
  • Martin UnterseherEmail author
Original Article


Yeasts of both Ascomycota and Basidiomycota occur in various ecological zones of many geographic regions and climatic conditions, but environmental yeast research has often been conducted in either extreme habitats or the phyllosphere. Here, we report on the occurrence of foliar endophytic yeasts of three tropical Ficus species from two German greenhouses in Greifswald and Berlin. Living leaves were collected and subjected to dilution-to-extinction cultivation. Fungal colonies were used for morphological analyses, microsatellite-primed fingerprinting, sequencing and phylogeny of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA. Fifteen percent (~200 colonies) of all fungal isolates belonged to the genera Cryptococcus (Filobasidiales) and Rhodotorula (Sporidiobolales and Cystobasidiales) that split into 23 species / operational taxonomic units. No other yeast-forming taxa were isolated. Both side-specific and host-specific variations in species composition and abundance were observed; however, statistics did not support significant associations. Further evidence exists that gardening practices, such as moving potted plants, could influence fungal endophytic communities.


Plant-associated microfungi Biodiversity Community ecology Species richness Operational taxonomic unit Leaf latex Quarantine 



The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is heartily thanked for providing a 3-year PhD scholarship to MJLS at the University of Greifswald. The University of Greifswald also greatly supported this study with a project-starting grant to MJLS and MU. MJLS and MU thank the technician Anja Klahr for lab support. The curators of the Botanical Gardens Greifswald (Peter König) and Berlin (Nils Köster, Thomas Dürbye) and their gardener teams are thanked for sampling permissions and on-site assistance. Two anonymous reviewers are thanked for helpful comments.

Supplementary material

11557_2014_1019_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (29 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 28 kb)
11557_2014_1019_MOESM2_ESM.txt (28 kb)
ESM 2 (TXT 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Jay L. Solis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrey Yurkov
    • 3
  • Thomas Edison dela Cruz
    • 4
  • Martin Unterseher
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University GreifswaldInstitute of Botany and Landscape EcologyGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Department of Natural Sciences, College of Science and Information TechnologyAteneo de Zamboanga UniversityZamboanga CityPhilippines
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell CulturesBraunschweigGermany
  4. 4.Department of Biological Sciences, College of ScienceUniversity of Santo TomasManilaPhilippines

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