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Home • Starmerella bombicola SB1 v1.0
Starmerella bombicola isolated from floral nectar of Diplacus (Mimulus) aurantiacus at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve of Stanford University in California, USA.
Starmerella bombicola isolated from floral nectar of Diplacus (Mimulus) aurantiacus at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve of Stanford University in California, USA.
Photo by Rachel Vannette.

Starmerella bombicola (Saccharomycetales: incertae sedis) is a diploid ascomycetous yeast isolated from a diversity of sugar-rich environments including flowers, nectar, honey, grape, wine ferments and flower-visiting insects, such as bumble bee and sap beetles (1-5). The asexual heterothallic haploid life-stage of this yeast is of special biotechnological interest as it produces a sophorose lipid with surfactant properties (6-7). Belonging to a small clade of ‘fermentative’ and osmotolerant yeasts, Starmerella bombicola is closely related to C. etchellsii, C. apicola, C. bombi, C. floricola, C. stellate and C. lactis-condensi. Similarity in their carbon compound usage suggests specialization towards a common niche, and a likely habitat association with nectar-feeding insects (2).

The sequenced strain was isolated from the nectar of sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus) in Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, California in 2011 (8).

References:

  1. Rosa, CA, Lachcnace M-A 1998 The yeast genus Starmerella gen. nov. and Starmerella bombicola sp. nov., the teleomorph of Candida bombicola (Spencer, Gorin & Tullock) Meyer & Yarrow. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 48, 1413-1417.
  2. Spencer, J. F. T., Gorin, P. A. J. & Tulloch, A. P. (1970). Torulopsis bombicola sp. n. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 36, 129-133.
  3. Lachance M-A, Wijayanayaka TM, Bundus JD et al. (2011) Ribosomal DNA sequence polymorphism and the delineation of two ascosporic yeast species: Metschnikowia agaves and Starmerella bombicola. FEMS Yeast Research 11, 324–33.
  4. Inglis, G.D., Sigler, L. & Goette, M.S. (1993) Aerobic microorganisms associated with alfalfa leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata). Microbial Ecology 26, 125–14.
  5. Ok, T & Hashinaga F (2006) Identification of sugar-tolerant yeasts isolated from high-sugar fermented vegetable extracts, The Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 43,  39-47.
  6. Kim, S.Y., Oh, D. K., Lee, K. H. & Kim, J. H. (1997). Effect of soybean oil and glucose on sophorose lipid fermentation by Torulopsis bombicola in continuous culture. Applied Microbiology Biotechnology 48, 23-46.
  7. Marilyn De Graeve, Sofie L De Maeseneire, Sophie L K W Roelants, Wim Soetaert (2018) Starmerella bombicola, an industrially relevant, yet fundamentally underexplored yeast, FEMS Yeast Research, 18 (7) foy072
  8. Peay KG, Belisle M & Fukami T (2012) Phylogenetic relatedness predicts priority effects in nectar yeast communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279(1729): 749–758.