This report is the first investigation of yeast biodiversity from the oligotrophic hypersaline coastal waters of the Arabian Gulf surrounding Qatar. Yeasts and yeast-like fungi, were cultured from seawater sampled at 13 coastal areas surrounding Qatar over a period of 2 years (December 2013-September 2015). Eight hundred and forty-two isolates belonging to 82 species representing two phyla viz., Ascomycota (23 genera) and Basidiomycota (16 genera) were identified by molecular sequencing. The results indicated that the coastal waters of the Qatari oligotrophic marine environment harbor a diverse pool of yeast species, most of which have been reported from terrestrial, clinical and aquatic sources in various parts of the world. Five species, i.e., Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, Pichia kudriavzevii and Meyerozyma guilliermondii (n = 252/842; 30% isolates) are known as major opportunistic human pathogens. Fifteen species belonging to nine genera (n = 498/842; 59%) and 12 species belonging to seven genera (n = 459/842; 55%) are hydrocarbon degrading yeast and pollution indicator yeast species, respectively. Ascomycetous yeasts were predominant (66.38%; 559/842) as compared to their basidiomycetous counterparts (33.6%; 283/842). The most isolated yeast genera were Candida (28%; 236/842) (e.g., C. aaseri, C. boidinii, C. glabrata, C. intermedia, C. oleophila, C. orthopsilosis, C. palmioleophila, C. parapsilosis, C. pseudointermedia, C. rugopelliculosa, C. sake, C. tropicalis and C. zeylanoides), Rhodotorula (12.7%; 107/842), Naganishia (8.4%; 71/842), Aureobasidium (7.4%; 62/842), Pichia (7.3%; 62/842), and Debaryomyces (6.4%; 54/842). A total of eleven yeast species ( n = 38) isolated in this study are reported for the first time from the marine environment. Chemical testing demonstrated that seven out of the 13 sites had levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) ranging from 200 to 900 µg/L, whereas 6 sites showed higher TPH levels (> 1000-21000 µg/L). The results suggest that the yeast community structure and density are impacted by various physico-chemical factors, namely total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and sulphur.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2022|