Abstract Fungi are widespread and very important in many ecosystems but the extensive use of pesticides can adversely affect beneficial fungi. The yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been proposed for the toxicological assessment of the effects of environmental pollutants on non-target fungi. To assess whether S. cerevisiae is a good representative of the immense ecological and phylogenetic diversity of yeasts, we compare the sensitivity of eight other yeasts from diverse phylogenetic taxa to a range of toxicants and environmental samples. Sensitivity was assessed using both the growth inhibition and alamar blue (resorufin fluorescence inhibition) bioassays. The growth inhibition bioassay showed that all yeast species had similar dose-response curves for the five organic fungicides and two environmental samples used. However, two yeast species, Trichosporon dulcitum and Pseudozyma fusiformata, were a great deal more sensitive than all others to CuSO 4 and K 2Cr 2O 7 while S. cerevisiae was the most tolerant to these chemicals. S. cerevisiae, however, showed similar sensitivity as other species to all toxicants in the resorufin fluorescence inhibition bioassay. It can therefore be used as a representative yeast species for assessing effects of environmental contaminants to non-target fungi and in the screening of chemical libraries for fungicidal activity.