A yeast strain (SK01) was isolated as part of a study of phylloplane yeast flora of Semecarpus kathalekanensis, an endangered forest tree from Myristica swamps of the western ghats of Karnataka employing standard methodology. It was characterized as Cryptococcus flavescens based on phenotypic and molecular (rDNA) analyses. Further its exopolysaccharide (EPS) production potential was characterized. It was found to produce 4.7g.L-1 (on dry weight basis) of crude EPS with gross chemical composition: 88.5%, 6.15% and 5.35% of total carbohydrates, proteins and ash contents respectively which indicate its reasonably good purity. Present exercise underscores the importance of yeast diversity studies in under-explored natural habitats, e.g. tropical plant phylloplane.
Exopolysaccharide, phylloplane, yeasts, tropical forest
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