/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   Research News

New Mechanism Leads to Yeast Fermentation

Oct 12, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

With the expansion of fruit plants at the end of the Cretaceous period, the ancestor of the Saccharomyces lineage generated a novel trait of aerobic fermentation to survive in an environment with abundant fermentable fruits.  

During aerobic fermentation, the yeast can repress the expression of mitochondrial genes, rapidly consume glucose, accumulate ethanol, and out-compete other microbes. Therefore, the formation mechanism of aerobic fermentation is always a hotspot.  

Many studies have shown that the whole genome duplication (WGD) event that happened around 100 million years ago played an important role in the origin of aerobic fermentation in Saccharomyces.  

Recently, scientists from Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that, about 300 million years ago, the other wine and beer yeast Dekkera bruxellensis diverged from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, long before WGD, also generated the capacity of aerobic fermentation.  

By profiling and comparing genome sequences, transcriptomic landscapes and chromatin structures, they revealed the fact that no WGD occurred in Dekkera lineage.  

Surprisingly, the two independent evolutionary lineages evolved similar AT-rich elements in promoter regions of mitochondrial genes, which underlay the parallel changes in chromatin structure and led to concerted suppression of mitochondrial functions by glucose and metabolic convergence in these two independent yeast species.  

The study confirmed that similar genetic mechanism and metabolic pathway can emerge in independent evolutionary lineages for improving adaptability in the same conditions.  

The study entitled "Parallel Evolution of Chromatin Structure Underlying Metabolic Adaptation" has been published in Molecular Biology and Evolution.  

This research was supported by two National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) grants and The Hundred Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to H.J, and NSF grant MCB-1243588 to Z.G.  


Parallel evolution of gene expression between D. bruxellensis and S. cerevisiae. (A) Relative gene expression for genes from catabolic pathways and the TCA cycle. (B) Relative gene expression for mitochondrial genes and growth associated genes in YPD compared to YPEG. (Image by TIB) 


(Editor: ZHANG Nannan)

Related Articles

gene; great rice;

OsSPL16-GW7 Regulatory Module Improves Rice Yield and Grain Quality Simultaneously

Jul 16, 2015

Prof. FU Xiangdong’s group at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, has identified a quantitative trait locus for rice grain quality, qGW7, reflects allelic variation of GW7, a gene encoding a TONNEAU1-...

gene; rice; better rice; productive strain; LOC_Os07g41200

Experts Pinpoint Gene for Better Rice

Jul 09, 2015

Scientists said they had pinpointed variants of a gene to improve the quality and yield of rice, a staple starch for billions of people. Working in two separate groups, researchers from China discovered that mutations in a specific gene resulted in longer, more slender gr...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences