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FEMS Yeast Res. 2012 Sep;12(6):617-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2012.00812.x. Epub 2012 May 28.

Accumulation of phosphate and polyphosphate by Cryptococcus humicola and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the absence of nitrogen.

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  • 1Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russia.


The search for new phosphate-accumulating microorganisms is of interest in connection with the problem of excess phosphate in environment. The ability of some yeast species belonging to ascomycetes and basidiomycetes for phosphate (P (i) ) accumulation in nitrogen-deficient medium was studied. The ascomycetous Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kuraishia capsulata and basidiomycetous Cryptococcus humicola, Cryptococcus curvatus, and Pseudozyma fusiformata were the best in P (i) removal. The cells of Cryptococcus humicola and S. cerevisiae took up 40% P (i) from the media containing P (i) and glucose (5 and 30 mM, respectively), and up to 80% upon addition of 5 mM MgSO(4) (.) The cells accumulated P (i) mostly in the form of polyphosphate (PolyP). In the presence of Mg(2+) , the content of PolyP with longer average chain length increased in both yeasts; they both had numerous inclusions fluorescing in the yellow region of the spectrum, typical of DAPI-PolyP complexes. Among the yeast species tested, Cryptococcus humicola is a new promising model organisms to study phosphorus removal from the media and biomineralization in microbial cells.

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