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Dioszegia cryoxerica
Image Credit: Alvaro Fonseca
Dioszegia cryoxerica
Image Credit: Alvaro Fonseca
Dioszegia cryoxerica
Image Credit: Alvaro Fonseca
Dioszegia cryoxerica
Image Credit: Katherine Earle

Dioszegia cryoxerica is a psychrophilic yeast belonging to one of the three main lineages of the Basidiomycota, the Agaricomycota, with the following phylogenetic placement: Tremellomycetes, Tremellales. Dioszegia cryoxerica is restricted to niche habitats that are considered extreme.  These extreme habitats include low temperature oligotrophic deserts.  This species has been isolated from soil and soil-associated samples acquired from the desert region of South Victoria Land, Antarctica (Connell et al 2010). This species is psychrophilic, in which its growth is restricted to below 20oC and as low as -3oC.  It also has the ability to grow in a low nutrient environment.  D. cryoxerica shows strong siderophore activity and has the ability to grow without added vitamins and a broad range of carbon compounds as sole carbon sources, including glyercol and ethanol. D. cryoxerica can also assimilate citric acid, saccharic acid, inulin and urea.  The key interest in D. cryoxerica is in its ability to utilize a broad range of carbon sources.  It is able to incorporate atmospheric carbon from CO2 at current atmospheric CO2 partial pressure levels.  The interest is in the potential novel carbon utilization pathways and carbon flow at low temperatures, including enzymes that are able to break less typical carbon bonds (degradation).  In addition to utilizing potential alternative carbon pathways, psychrophilic yeasts are known to produce high amounts of lipids. These pathways may be of interest to industry in the production of biofuels through unique metabolic pathways or through pathways that utilize compounds such as glycerol to generate high levels of lipids.  The potential of unique carbon utilization pathways and low temperature metabolism are of interest to both industry and basic academic research.

 


References:
Connell, L. B., R. S. Redman, et al. (2010). "Dioszegia antarctica and D. cryoxerica spp. nov., two novel psychrophilic basidiomycetous yeasts from polar desert soils in Antarctica." International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 60: 1466-1472.
    
Rossi, M., P. Buzzini, et al. (2009). "Growth, lipid accumulation and fatty acids composition in obligate psychrophilic, facultative psychrophilic and mesophilic yeasts." FEMS Microbial Ecology 69: 363-372.