Studies on estuarine yeasts: 1. Nitrogen fixation in relation to ecological features

G. DeSouza, J. DeSouza


From the sediments of Chapora, Mandovi and Zuari estuaries of Goa, India, 67 isolates of yeasts were collected. The dominant genera were found to be Candida, Geotrichum, Dipodascus and Trichosporon. The yeast count varied from 102-1.16 x 105/g in sediments which were brown or black in colour and 102-2 x 103/g in sandy sediments. Chemical and microbiological analyses were carried out and the organic matter was found to have much effect on the counts and diversity of the yeast isolates. The isolates were screened for their ability to fix nitrogen and 33 isolates were found to fix nitrogen. Five best isolates were further studied for their nitrogen fixing ability. The isolates showed better growth and nitrogen fixing ability with 5% inoculum than with 2% inoculum. The estuarine yeasts were more potent and fixed about 10 fold more nitrogen than their terrestrial counterparts. It was thus concluded that aquatic yeasts play an important role in the nitrogen budget of the sediments and thus enhance their productivity


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