Structure and Physiology
Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (formerly Rhodotorula rubra) is a saprophytic yeast. A ubiquitious environmental inhabitant, it can be isolated from soil, water, and air samples.
Transmission and Disease
This yeast can be a human pathogen in rare instances and has been responsible for cases of fungal peritonitis, meningitis, and catheter infections in immuno-compromised patients.
R. mucilaginosa has a strong affinity to colonize plastics in human environments, such as medical and manufacturing equipment, which makes it a relevant organism in regard to disinfection.
The bright red carotenoid pigment produced by this organism serves to protect the replication machinery from a distinct wavelength of ultraviolet radiation (UVB).
- Moliné, Martín, et al. “Photoprotection by carotenoid pigments in the yeast Rhodotorula mucilaginosa: the role of torularhodin.” Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 9.8 (2010): 1145-1151.