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Concept: Saccharomyces pastorianus


Intracellular triacylglycerol (TAG) is a ubiquitous energy storage lipid also involved in lipid homeostasis and signaling. Comparatively, little is known about TAG’s role in other cellular functions. Here we show a pro-longevity function of TAG in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In yeast strains derived from natural and laboratory environments a correlation between high levels of TAG and longer chronological lifespan was observed. Increased TAG abundance through the deletion of TAG lipases prolonged chronological lifespan of laboratory strains, while diminishing TAG biosynthesis shortened lifespan without apparently affecting vegetative growth. TAG-mediated lifespan extension was independent of several other known stress response factors involved in chronological aging. Because both lifespan regulation and TAG metabolism are conserved, this cellular pro-longevity function of TAG may extend to other organisms.

Concepts: Model organism, Organism, Brewing, Fungus, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Metabolism, Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Distributed robustness is thought to influence the buffering of random phenotypic variation through the scale-free topology of gene regulatory, metabolic, and protein-protein interaction networks. If this hypothesis is true, then the phenotypic response to the perturbation of particular nodes in such a network should be proportional to the number of links those nodes make with neighboring nodes. This suggests a probability distribution approximating an inverse power-law of random phenotypic variation. Zero phenotypic variation, however, is impossible, because random molecular and cellular processes are essential to normal development. Consequently, a more realistic distribution should have a y-intercept close to zero in the lower tail, a mode greater than zero, and a long (fat) upper tail. The double Pareto-lognormal (DPLN) distribution is an ideal candidate distribution. It consists of a mixture of a lognormal body and upper and lower power-law tails.

Concepts: Probability distribution, Evolution, Probability density function, Fungus, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Normal distribution


Beyond its classical biotechnological applications such as food and beverage production or as a cell factory, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model organism to study fundamental mechanisms of cell response to stressful environmental changes. Acetic acid is a physiological product of yeast fermentation and it is a well-known food preservative due to its antimicrobial action. Acetic acid has recently been shown to cause yeast cell death and aging. Here we shall focus on the molecular mechanisms of S. cerevisiae stress adaptation and programmed cell death in response to acetic acid. We shall elaborate on the intracellular signaling pathways involved in the cross-talk of pro-survival and pro-death pathways underlying the importance of understanding fundamental aspects of yeast cell homeostasis to improve the performance of a given yeast strain in biotechnological applications.

Concepts: Ethanol, Fungus, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Bacteria, Brewing, Model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Yeast


Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are a diverse family of plant-specialized metabolites that include the pharmaceuticals codeine and morphine and their derivatives. Microbial synthesis of BIAs holds promise as an alternative to traditional crop-based manufacturing. Here we demonstrate the production of the key BIA intermediate (S)-reticuline from glucose in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To aid in this effort, we developed an enzyme-coupled biosensor for the upstream intermediate L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). Using this sensor, we identified an active tyrosine hydroxylase and improved its L-DOPA yields by 2.8-fold via PCR mutagenesis. Coexpression of DOPA decarboxylase enabled what is to our knowledge the first demonstration of dopamine production from glucose in yeast, with a 7.4-fold improvement in titer obtained for our best mutant enzyme. We extended this pathway to fully reconstitute the seven-enzyme pathway from L-tyrosine to (S)-reticuline. Future work to improve titers and connect these steps with downstream pathway branches, already demonstrated in S. cerevisiae, will enable low-cost production of many high-value BIAs.

Concepts: Cell cycle, Yeast, Saccharomyces pastorianus, L-DOPA, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Brewing, Fungus, Dopamine


The roots of Sanguisorba officinalis are used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of diseases such as inflammation and internal haemorrhage. Several scientific investigations involving extraction and pharmacological studies of terpenoids and triterpenoid glycosides from this herb have been carried out. However, little is known regarding the immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties of polysaccharides from S. officinalis. Hence the polysaccharides from this herb have been investigated here. The hot water extract of S. officinalis has been fractionated using size-exclusion chromatography to obtain four polysaccharide fractions designated as SOP-1, SOP-2, SOP-3 and SOP-4. The range of molecular masses of these fractions were from 280Da to 2000kDa, and their sugar compositions consisted mainly of fructose, glucose, xylose, arabinose, and rhamnose. The antioxidant activities of the crude polysaccharide fractions were evaluated in a biological assay using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whereas the radical scavenging activity was measured using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method. Analysis of the immunomodulatory activities of these polysaccharide fractions were measured by using mouse macrophages. Most of the polysaccharide fractions have stimulated the production of nitric oxide and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and also displayed antioxidant activities. These results suggest that the roots of S. officinalis are likely to have therapeutic value for the treatment of cancer.

Concepts: Xylose, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Glycosidic bond, Fungus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Polysaccharide, Monosaccharide, Glucose


There has been increasing interest in the use of selected non-Saccharomyces yeasts in co-culture with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The main reason is that the multistarter fermentation process is thought to simulate indigenous fermentation, thus increasing wine aroma complexity while avoiding the risks linked to natural fermentation. However, multistarter fermentation is characterised by complex and largely unknown interactions between yeasts. Consequently the resulting wine quality is rather unpredictable. In order to better understand the interactions that take place between non-Saccharomyces and Saccharomyces yeasts during alcoholic fermentation, we analysed the volatile profiles of several mono-culture and co-cultures. Candida zemplinina, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Metschnikowia pulcherrima were used to conduct fermentations either in mono-culture or in co-culture with S. cerevisiae. Up to 48 volatile compounds belonging to different chemical families were quantified. For the first time, we show that C. zemplinina is a strong producer of terpenes and lactones. We demonstrate by means of multivariate analysis that different interactions exist between the co-cultures studied. We observed a synergistic effect on aromatic compound production when M. pulcherrima was in co-culture with S. cerevisiae. However a negative interaction was observed between C. zemplinina and S. cerevisiae, which resulted in a decrease in terpene and lactone content. These interactions are independent of biomass production. The aromatic profiles of T. delbrueckii and S. cerevisiae in mono-culture and in co-culture are very close, and are biomass-dependent, reflecting a neutral interaction. This study reveals that a whole family of compounds could be altered by such interactions. These results suggest that the entire metabolic pathway is affected by these interactions.

Concepts: Saccharomyces pastorianus, Saccharomycetaceae, Saccharomycetes, Yeasts, Sauvignon blanc, Brewing, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Yeast


Rapid identification of clinically important yeasts can facilitate the initiation of anti-fungal therapy, since susceptibility is largely species-dependent. We evaluated melting peak and melting curve analysis of the internally transcribed spacer region 2 fragment (ITS2- MCA) as an identification tool for distinguishing between 16 Candida spp., i.e. C. albicans, C. bracarensis, C. dubliniensis, C. famata, C. glabrata, C. guilliermondii, C. inconspicua, C. kefyr, C. krusei, C. lipolytica, C. lusitaniae, C. nivariensis, C. norvegensis, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis and C. sojae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae and one species pair, i.e. C. metaspsilosis/C. orthopsilosis. Starting from a cultured isolate, ITS2-MCA led to differentiation of these species within 6 h. According to our findings, ITS2-MCA offers a simple, rapid and cost-effective method for identification of cultured isolates of the clinically most relevant and prevalent Candida species. Further studies will be necessary to evaluate how it performs on mixed samples and clinical samples.

Concepts: Saccharomyces pastorianus, Candida albicans, Fungus, Ascomycota, Yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candidiasis, Yeast


Atg17, in complex with Atg29 and Atg31, constitutes a key module of the Atg1 kinase signaling complex and functions as an important organizer of the phagophore assembly site in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have determined the three-dimensional reconstruction of the full S. cerevisiae Atg17-Atg31-Atg29 complex by single-particle electron microscopy. Our structure shows that Atg17-Atg31-Atg29 is dimeric and adopts a relatively rigid and extended “S-shape” architecture with an end-to-end distance of approximately 345 Å. Subunit mapping analysis indicated that Atg17 mediates dimerization and generates a central rod-like scaffold, while Atg31 and Atg29 form two globular domains that are tethered to the concave sides of the scaffold at the terminal regions. Finally, our observation that Atg17 adopts multiple conformations in the absence of Atg31 and Atg29 suggests that the two smaller components play key roles in defining and maintaining the distinct curvature of the ternary complex.

Concepts: Saccharomycetes, Saccharomycetaceae, Saccharomyces, Yeast, Brewing, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Fungus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Here, we sought to investigate the vacuole-targeting fungicidal activity of amphotericin B (AmB) in parent strain and AmB-resistant mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and elucidate the mechanisms involved in this process. Our data demonstrated that the vacuole-targeting fungicidal activity of AmB was markedly enhanced by N-methyl-N'‘-dodecylguanidine (MC12), a synthetic analog of the alkyl side chain in niphimycin, as represented by the synergy in their antifungal activities against parent cells of S. cerevisiae. Indifference was observed only with erg3 cells, indicating that the replacement of ergosterol with episterol facilitated their resistance to the combined lethal actions of AmB and MC12. Dansyl-labeled amphotericin B (AmB-Ds) was concentrated into normal rounded vacuoles when parent cells were treated with AmB-Ds alone, even at a nonlethal concentration. The additional supplementation of MC12 resulted in a marked loss of cell viability and vacuole disruption, as judged by the fluorescence from AmB-Ds scattered throughout the cytoplasm. In erg3 cells, AmB-Ds was scarcely detected in the cytoplasm, even with the addition of MC12, reflecting its failure to normally incorporate across the plasma membrane into the vacuole. Thus, this study supported the hypothesis that ergosterol is involved in the mobilization of AmB into the vacuolar membrane so that AmB-dependent vacuole disruption can be fully enhanced by cotreatment with MC12.

Concepts: Saccharomyces, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Cytoplasm, Cell, Vacuole


The ability of Candida shehatae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or the combination of these two yeasts in converting the mixed sugar composition of rice hull hydrolysate (RHH) as substrate for ethanol production is presented. In shake flask experiments, co-cultures showed ethanol yields (Y) of 0.42 and 0.51 in synthetic medium simulating the sugar composition of RHH and in RHH, respectively, with both glucose and xylose being completely depleted, while pure cultures of C. shehatae produced slightly lower ethanol yields (0.40). Experiments were scaled-up to bioreactors, in which anaerobiosis and oxygen limitation conditions were tested. Bioreactor co-cultures produced similar ethanol yields in both conditions (0.50-0.51) in synthetic medium, while in RHH, yields of 0.48 and 0.44 were obtained, respectively. The results showed near-theoretical yields of ethanol. Results suggest the feasibility of co-cultures of C. shehatae, a newly isolated strain, and S. cerevisiae in RHH as substrate for second-generation ethanol production.

Concepts: Saccharomycetes, Model organism, Yeasts, Saccharomyces pastorianus, Fungus, Brewing, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Yeast