Yeasts associated with nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, 1908
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A total of 137 yeasts associated with the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, 1908 were characterized, being selected 93 for analysis. Twenty four species belonging to seven genera(Candida, Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula, Sporobolomyces, Tremella, Trichosporon, Pichia) were isolated from the different analysed material. The genus Candida was widely distributed, with C. homilentoma, C. colliculosa-like, C. famata and C. colliculosa being the most prevalent. A few isolates did not fit the standard descriptions and probably some of them could be new biotypes or even new species. Three strains of black yeasts were also isolated, and four others were identified as being Candida spp. The effective number of yeast species was higher in newer sponge. The origin, distribution and relative importance of these microorganisms for the ants are discussed.