Comparative functional genomics to reveal the molecular basis of phenotypic diversities and guide the genetic breeding of industrial yeast strains

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Dao-Qiong ZhengPin-Mei Wang


An understanding of the genetic basis underlying the phenotypic variations of yeast strains would guide the breeding of this useful microorganism. Here, comparative functional genomics (CFG) of two bioethanol Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (YJS329 and ZK2) with different stress tolerances and ethanol fermentation performances were performed. Our analysis indicated that different patterns of gene expression in the central carbon metabolism, antioxidative factors, and membrane compositions of these two strains are the main contributors to their various traits. Some of the differently expressed genes were directly caused by the genomic structural variations between YJS329 and ZK2. Moreover, CFG of these two strains also led to novel insights into the mechanism of stress tolerance in yeast. For example, it was found that more oleic acid in the plasma membrane contributes to the acetic acid tolerance of yeast. Based on the genetic information particular to each strain, strategies to improve their adaptability and ethanol fermentation performances were designed and confirmed. Thus, CFG could not only help reveal basis of phenotypic diversities but also guide the genetic breeding of industrial microorganisms.


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