Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 523–541 | Cite as

Antagonistic yeasts from a salt-lake region in Egypt: identification of a taxonomically distinct group of phylloplane strains related to Sporisorium

  • Matthias SipiczkiEmail author
  • Samy A. Selim
Original Paper


Non-pathogenic yeasts antagonising microorganisms that cause pre- and postharvest diseases of plants have been found in diverse habitats. Their practical applicability as biocontrol agents (BCAs) depends on the strength of their antagonistic activity and/or spectrum of sensitive target microorganisms. In this study, yeasts were isolated from the phylloplane and fruits of plants growing in the alkaline water lake region Wadi El-Natrun, Egypt, and tested for antifungal and antibacterial activity. All phylloplane yeast isolates belonged to the Basidiomycota and most of them could antagonise at least certain test organisms. One group of isolates showing strong antagonism against almost all fungi and yeasts appears to represent a hitherto undescribed species distantly related to the smut genus Sporisorium. This is the first report of antagonistic activity in Sporisorium. The isolates assigned to Naganishia and Papiliotrema were more effective against bacteria. The broadest range and intensity of antagonism was observed in the fruit-associated strains belonging to the ascomycetous species Wickerhamomyces subpelliculosus. The Wickerhamomyces strains are good broad-spectrum BCA candidates, the Sporisorium strains could be used as efficient antifungal BCAs, whereas the Papiliotrema isolate can be exploited as an antibacterial biocontrol agent.


Antagonistic yeasts Antibacterial Antifungal BCA Biocontrol Desert Phylloplane yeasts 



Samy A. Selim thanks Tempus Public Foundation, Hungary (Grant No. 20004) for supporting his postdoctoral research in Hungary. We thank prof. Gamal El-Din for the taxonomic identification of plants and Anita Csabai-Olah for excellent technical assistance.

Author contribution

MS Conceived and designed study. MS, SAS Performed research. MS Analysed data. MS Wrote the paper.

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Applied MicrobiologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  2. 2.Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical SciencesJouf UniversityAl-JoufKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Faculty of Science, Botany DepartmentSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

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