Diverse Ways Mangrove Yeasts Boost Plant Growth for Conservation

Jenn Hoskins
25th March, 2024

Diverse Ways Mangrove Yeasts Boost Plant Growth for Conservation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Yeasts from mangroves in Puthuvype and Kumbalam boost plant growth and fight diseases
  • Three yeast strains showed strong growth-promoting traits and resilience to stress
  • These yeasts significantly improved growth in mangrove seedlings in experiments
Mangroves are unique ecosystems that thrive in coastal intertidal zones, providing critical habitats for a variety of species and acting as buffers against storms and erosion. However, these environments are under threat from climate change and human activities. A new avenue for supporting mangrove health and restoration may come from an unexpected source: yeasts. Researchers at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies have conducted a study[1] focusing on the plant growth-promoting (PGP) capabilities of yeasts isolated from mangroves, shedding light on their potential as biofertilizers and biocontrol agents. This study revealed that manglicolous yeasts, which are yeasts living in mangrove ecosystems, have a diverse array of hydrolytic activities, particularly lipolytic activity which involves breaking down fats. These yeasts also displayed other beneficial traits such as phosphate solubilization, which helps make phosphorus more available to plants, and the production of indole acetic acid, a compound that can stimulate plant growth. Additionally, these yeasts produce substances like siderophores, which bind and transport iron to plants, and ammonia, which can be used as a nitrogen source for plant growth. From a collection of yeasts, three strains, identified as Candida tropicalis (P 9), Debaryomyces hansenii (PV 23), and Aureobasidium melanogenum (KV 35), stood out due to their strong PGP traits. These strains not only inhibited fungal pathogens, offering a natural way to protect against diseases, but also showed resilience to abiotic stresses such as salinity and drought. This resilience is particularly important in the harsh conditions of mangrove ecosystems. The practical application of these findings was demonstrated in a pot experiment using mangrove seedlings of Rhizophora mucronata. The application of a consortium of these three potent yeast strains resulted in significant improvements in the growth of the seedlings, including an increase in the number of shoot branches, plant weight, root length, shoot height, and total leaf area compared to control seedlings. These findings are particularly relevant in the context of sustainable agriculture and ecosystem management. Previous research has highlighted the bioprospecting potential of manglicolous yeasts, with applications ranging from biofuels to antimicrobials[2]. Furthermore, the role of yeasts as plant growth promoters has been recognized, though primarily in agricultural settings with crop plants like wheat, maize, and rice[3]. This study builds upon such knowledge by demonstrating the effectiveness of mangrove-derived yeasts in promoting plant growth, which could have implications for the conservation and restoration of mangroves. The use of yeasts from vineyards to enhance plant development[4] and halophilic PGPRs to support crop production in saline soils[5] has provided a foundation for understanding microbial interactions with plants. The current study extends this understanding to mangrove ecosystems, suggesting that these yeasts could serve as a natural and safe alternative to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, aligning with the growing emphasis on sustainable practices. In conclusion, the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies' research presents a promising strategy for enhancing mangrove restoration efforts using native yeasts with PGP traits. The ability of these yeasts to promote growth and protect against pathogens, while enduring environmental stresses, positions them as valuable allies in the fight to preserve and restore vulnerable mangrove ecosystems. This study not only adds to our understanding of the biodiversity and ecological roles of manglicolous yeasts but also opens the door for their application in sustainable ecosystem management and conservation practices.

SustainabilityBiotechPlant Science


Main Study

1) Multifarious plant growth-promoting traits of mangrove yeasts: growth enhancement in mangrove seedlings (Rhizophora mucronata) for conservation.

Published 24th March, 2024


Related Studies

2) Diversity, Distribution and Bioprospecting Potentials of Manglicolous Yeasts: A Review.


3) Plant growth-promoting yeasts (PGPY), the latest entrant for use in sustainable agriculture: a review.


4) Plant growth-promoting traits of yeasts isolated from Spanish vineyards: benefits for seedling development.


5) Mining Halophytes for Plant Growth-Promoting Halotolerant Bacteria to Enhance the Salinity Tolerance of Non-halophytic Crops.


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