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Stress-Tolerant Yeasts: Opportunistic Pathogenicity Versus Biocontrol Potential

1
Department of Biotechnology and Systems Biology, National Institute of Biology, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
Institut ‘Jožef Stefan’, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally as first authors.
Genes 2019, 10(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10010042
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

Stress-tolerant fungi that can thrive under various environmental extremes are highly desirable for their application to biological control, as an alternative to chemicals for pest management. However, in fungi, the mechanisms of stress tolerance might also have roles in mammal opportunism. We tested five species with high biocontrol potential in agriculture (Aureobasidium pullulans, Debayomyces hansenii, Meyerozyma guilliermondii, Metschnikowia fructicola, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa) and two species recognized as emerging opportunistic human pathogens (Exophiala dermatitidis, Aureobasidium melanogenum) for growth under oligotrophic conditions and at 37 °C, and for tolerance to oxidative stress, formation of biofilms, production of hydrolytic enzymes and siderophores, and use of hydrocarbons as sole carbon source. The results show large overlap between traits desirable for biocontrol and traits linked to opportunism (growth under oligotrophic conditions, production of siderophores, high oxidative stress tolerance, and specific enzyme activities). Based on existing knowledge and these data, we suggest that oligotrophism and thermotolerance together with siderophore production at 37 °C, urease activity, melanization, and biofilm production are the main traits that increase the potential for fungi to cause opportunistic infections in mammals. These traits should be carefully considered when assessing safety of potential biocontrol agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: opportunistic pathogen; biocontrol agent; virulence; stress tolerance; secretome; CAZy; protease; thermotolerance; oligotrophism; melanin; siderophore; biofilm opportunistic pathogen; biocontrol agent; virulence; stress tolerance; secretome; CAZy; protease; thermotolerance; oligotrophism; melanin; siderophore; biofilm
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zajc, J.; Gostinčar, C.; Černoša, A.; Gunde-Cimerman, N. Stress-Tolerant Yeasts: Opportunistic Pathogenicity Versus Biocontrol Potential. Genes 2019, 10, 42.

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