User:Rachel Oakes- Malassezia Globosa

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Domain; Phylum; Class; Order; Family [Others may be used. Use NCBI link to find]

Genus Species

NCBI: Taxonomy

Genus species

Description and Significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the microbe. Why is this microbe important?

Malassezia globosa is typically found in human skin and is known to cause dandruff. M. globosa thrives in the human scalp since it requires lots of lipid as a carbon source, so sebum satisfies the fungus. Usually, the fungus looks like small islands, with a greenish appearance and separated groups of the microbe. [] If it acts as dermatitis, it will appear as small white patchy flakes on the human scalp or small, light, discolored patches on the skin as tinea versicolor. Studying the chemistry and genome of M. Globosa is important to understand the stronger treatment for these fungal infections since M. Globosa is a common part of the skin flora. Malassezia globosa is also important because it is so common since it causes 50% of the world’s population to be affected by dermatitis and tinea versicolor.


The sequenced size of M. Globosa was 9 Mb. Twenty - seven percent of the genes were introns, which is a smaller percentage than most basidiomycete fungi. There are 9 chromosomes in the fungi and has 4,285 genes. The genome resembles the organization of a fungal polypeptide synthase. M. Globosa’s genome also codes for a lot of lipases, which shows the role of its’ genome to use fatty acids from other sources, with 6 phospholipases and 13 lipases encoded. This release of fatty acid occurs on the human scalp, where it typically resides. The genome when compared using DNA region sequences that revealed M. Globosa’s genome is most similar in sequence to a pathogen U. Maydis, despite the fact that U. Maydis prefers a plant leaf as its’ preferred host compared to the M. globosa’s human host. The genome is very small and is considered one of the smallest genomes of free-living fungi.

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

Interesting features of the microbe's cell structure and metabolism. Does it make interesting or important molecules? What is it's life cycle like?

Ecology and Known Roles in Symbiosis

In what habitat(s) do you find this microbe? What roles (if known) does this microbe play in symbiosis with other organisms? What role or contribution does this microbe contribute to the environment.

Fun Facts

List interesting facts about this microbe that would appeal to a general audience. Does the microbe play an important role in a process relevant to society?


[Sample reference] Bosch TCG, Guillemin K, McFall-Ngai M (2019) Evolutionary "Experiments" in Symbiosis: The Study of Model Animals Provides Insights into the Mechanisms Underlying the Diversity of Host-Microbe Interactions. BioEssays 41:1800256


This page was authored by Sara Joyce Willis as part of the 2020 UM Study USA led by Dr. Erik Hom at the University of Mississippi.