Parasitism in Yeasts

  • Dominik BegerowEmail author
  • Martin Kemler
  • Anja Feige
  • Andrey Yurkov


Yeasts are common in all habitats and interact with dead and living substrates such as plants, animals, and fungi. Besides their saprobic capabilities, parasitic interactions of yeasts and yeast-like organisms were brought into focus through enhanced/new species discovery that expanded our knowledge about phylogenetic relationships of yeasts and parasitic fungal lineages. Especially common dimorphism of many Basidiomycota goes along with an alternating saprobic yeast stage and parasitic filamentous stage. Interestingly, this seems to be a common feature not only for plant parasites but also for animal and fungal parasites. Even some Ascomycota share this character.

The chapter aims to provide an overview of the most relevant parasites among yeast species and lineages. For this we summarize the most recent literature to initiate further studies and to provide ideas for common patterns and strategies. As can be seen in this chapter, the knowledge differs between animal parasites, plant parasites, and mycoparasites leaving space for new research and hypotheses. However, it is apparent that the comparison of the three different host groups provides interesting insights of common features and concepts.


Candida Cryptococcus Smuts Ustilago Microbotryum Mycoparasites Lichenicolous fungi 



This manuscript was supported by the work and help of many colleagues, friends, and students of the last 20 years, which is gratefully acknowledged. Some of the photographs were released into the public domain, which is thankfully acknowledged. Others are available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license ( The work on the phylogeny of smut fungi and Basidiomycota was supported by DAAD, DFG, and RUB.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominik Begerow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Kemler
    • 1
  • Anja Feige
    • 1
  • Andrey Yurkov
    • 2
  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität Bochum, AG GeobotanikBochumGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell CulturesBraunschweigGermany

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