YEASTS AS AN EXAMPLE OF MICROBIAL DIVERSITY IN BRAZILIAN ECOSYSTEMS
The high degree of biodiversity among microorganisms is noted and some of the problems involved in studies of microbial communities are presented using yeasts as an example. Considerable data are available on yeasts of temperate regions and substantial collections of yeasts from these studies exist, but studies of yeasts in tropical environments have been rare and mostly focused on medical applications. The diversity and distribution of yeasts in animals, aquatic and terrestrial environments including sand dune (restinga) ecosystems, Drosophila of rain forests, and fruits in Brazil are reviewed. These studies have shown different habitats to have characteristic yeast communities often including many new biotypes and probable new species.