Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail


Fatemi, Samira [1], Haelewaters, Danny [1], Urbina, Hector [2], Eckert, Ethan [1], Gómez Zapata, Paula A. [1], Pruitt, Robert E. [1], Aime, M. Catherine [1].

A basidiomycetous red yeast, Sporobolomyces sp. nov., and its implications for human health.

Though unassuming on the plate, agricultural production of romaine lettuce has a value of over $860 million, with nearly 2/3rd of national production in California. Romaine lettuce has also been implicated in various outbreaks of human-pathogenic Escherichia coli in recent years. We have previously surveyed the phylloplane of romaine lettuce for naturally occurring microorganisms that may act as antagonists to pathogenic E. coli, with an emphasis on fungi. Lettuce samples from different management practices (conventional, organic, and hydroponic) were considered. The most frequently isolated fungus was a yeast, Sporobolomyces sp. nov. (Pucciniomycotina, Sporidiobolales), a new species recovered on a majority of commercial lettuce samples. While the natural distribution and ecology of this species is unknown, it was also recovered from various phylloplanes in California, but not from elsewhere in the continental US. Like its closest relatives, Sporobolomyces sp. nov. forms orange-pink colonies in culture.  Sporobolomyces sp. nov. can be diagnosed from similar species by its ability to assimilate D-glucosamine but not glucose. In order to explore the potential of S. sp. nov. as a biosensor for the presence of human pathogens, we have developed a transformation system for this yeast. The finding that S. sp. nov. is found naturally occurring on phylloplanes in California, where the majority of lettuce production occurs, may indicate that it is spread primarily through food distribution. It is likely that, through our complex food distribution networks, commensal organisms such as  Sporobolomyces sp. nov. have their ecological range unintentionally expanded. The implications for human health will be discussed.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - Purdue University, Botany and Plant Pathology, Lilly Hall of Life Sciences, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA
2 - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 1911 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL, 32608, USA


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: MYP2, Mycology Posters II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MYP2007
Abstract ID:762
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Poster Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved