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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 80:211-218 (2008)  -  DOI:

Marine killer yeasts active against a yeast strain pathogenic to crab Portunus trituberculatus

Lin Wang, Lixi Yue, Zhenming Chi*, Xianghong Wang

UNESCO Chinese Center of Marine Biotechnology, Ocean University of China, Yushan Road, No. 5, Qingdao, China
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Some marine yeasts have recently been recognised as pathogenic agents in crab mariculture, but may be inhibited or killed by ‘killer’ yeast strains. We screened multiple yeast strains from seawater, sediments, mud of salterns, guts of marine fish, and marine algae for killer activity against the yeast Metchnikowia bicuspidata WCY (pathogenic to crab Portunus trituberculatus), and found 17 strains which could secrete toxin onto the medium and kill the pathogenic yeast. Of these, 5 strains had significantly higher killing activity than the others; routine identification and molecular methods showed that these were Williopsis saturnus WC91-2, Pichia guilliermondii GZ1, Pichia anomala YF07b, Debaryomyces hansenii hcx-1 and Aureobasidium pullulans HN2.3. We found that the optimal conditions for killer toxin production and action of killer toxin produced by the marine killer yeasts were not all in agreement with those of marine environments and for crab cultivation. We found that the killer toxins produced by the killer yeast strains could kill other yeasts in addition to the pathogenic yeast, and NaCl concentration in the medium could change killing activity spectra. All the crude killer toxins produced could hydrolyze laminarin and the hydrolysis end products were monosaccharides.

KEY WORDS: Marine-derived yeasts · Killer yeasts · Killer toxin · Pathogenic yeasts · Crab

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Cite this article as: Wang L, Yue L, Chi Z, Wang X (2008) Marine killer yeasts active against a yeast strain pathogenic to crab Portunus trituberculatus. Dis Aquat Org 80:211-218.

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