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The fascinating and secret wild life of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae.

Liti G - Elife (2015)

Bottom Line: However, it wasn't until a decade ago that the scientific community started to realise how little was known about this yeast's ecology and natural history, and how this information was vitally important for interpreting its biology.Recent large-scale population genomics studies coupled with intensive field surveys have revealed a previously unappreciated wild lifestyle of S. cerevisiae outside the restrictions of human environments and laboratories.The recent discovery that Chinese isolates harbour almost twice as much genetic variation as isolates from the rest of the world combined suggests that Asia is the likely origin of the modern budding yeast.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Research on Cancer and Ageing of Nice, CNRS UMR 7284, INSERM U1081, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.

ABSTRACT
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in laboratory experiments for over a century and has been instrumental in understanding virtually every aspect of molecular biology and genetics. However, it wasn't until a decade ago that the scientific community started to realise how little was known about this yeast's ecology and natural history, and how this information was vitally important for interpreting its biology. Recent large-scale population genomics studies coupled with intensive field surveys have revealed a previously unappreciated wild lifestyle of S. cerevisiae outside the restrictions of human environments and laboratories. The recent discovery that Chinese isolates harbour almost twice as much genetic variation as isolates from the rest of the world combined suggests that Asia is the likely origin of the modern budding yeast.

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Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.(A) A close-up of a fermenting bertam palm bud; the Malaysian S. cerevisiae lineage has been isolated from these palms (Wiens et al., 2008). Malaysian S. cerevisiae strains are reproductively isolated due to a complex series of rearrangements. (B) A primeval rainforest in the tropical highland of Hainan where the highly diverged Chinese lineages (CHN-I, CHN-III and CHN-V) have been isolated (Wang et al., 2012). Image credits: (A) Marc-André Lachance; (B) Feng-Yan Bai.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05835.004
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fig2: Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.(A) A close-up of a fermenting bertam palm bud; the Malaysian S. cerevisiae lineage has been isolated from these palms (Wiens et al., 2008). Malaysian S. cerevisiae strains are reproductively isolated due to a complex series of rearrangements. (B) A primeval rainforest in the tropical highland of Hainan where the highly diverged Chinese lineages (CHN-I, CHN-III and CHN-V) have been isolated (Wang et al., 2012). Image credits: (A) Marc-André Lachance; (B) Feng-Yan Bai.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05835.004

Mentions: The abundance of S. cerevisiae associated with fermented beverages initially gave rise to the notion of a ‘man-made organism’, restricted to human settings (Vaughan-Martini and Martini, 1995). The chemical composition of the fermentation environment can vary between different types of beverage, and also throughout the fermentation process. This substrate variability has selected for different yeast breeds that are optimised to ferment specific products, such as wine and sake (Fay and Benavides, 2005). Additionally, several genome signatures of human-driven adaptation have been reported (Sicard and Legras, 2011). However, all fermented beverages adhere to the basic rules of alcoholic fermentation, with different types of sugars being rapidly transformed into ethanol. This metabolic trait has independently evolved in yeasts multiple times, perhaps as an adaptive strategy either because producing high concentrations of ethanol can help to outcompete other microorganisms (Rozpędowska et al., 2011; Thompson et al., 2013) or because it can support faster growth than aerobic fermentation (Pfeiffer et al., 2001). The alcoholic fermentation of sugar-rich substrates by S. cerevisiae and by other yeast species is not exclusive to human beverages. Ethanol content almost equivalent to that of lager beer has been detected in the spontaneously fermenting nectar of the bertam palm in the Malaysian rainforests, although it has not been determined if S. cerevisiae is the dominant fermenter in this context (Figure 2A). This alcoholic nectar is heavily consumed by the pen-tailed treeshrew (Wiens et al., 2008).10.7554/eLife.05835.004Figure 2.Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.


The fascinating and secret wild life of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae.

Liti G - Elife (2015)

Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.(A) A close-up of a fermenting bertam palm bud; the Malaysian S. cerevisiae lineage has been isolated from these palms (Wiens et al., 2008). Malaysian S. cerevisiae strains are reproductively isolated due to a complex series of rearrangements. (B) A primeval rainforest in the tropical highland of Hainan where the highly diverged Chinese lineages (CHN-I, CHN-III and CHN-V) have been isolated (Wang et al., 2012). Image credits: (A) Marc-André Lachance; (B) Feng-Yan Bai.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05835.004
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4373461&req=5

fig2: Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.(A) A close-up of a fermenting bertam palm bud; the Malaysian S. cerevisiae lineage has been isolated from these palms (Wiens et al., 2008). Malaysian S. cerevisiae strains are reproductively isolated due to a complex series of rearrangements. (B) A primeval rainforest in the tropical highland of Hainan where the highly diverged Chinese lineages (CHN-I, CHN-III and CHN-V) have been isolated (Wang et al., 2012). Image credits: (A) Marc-André Lachance; (B) Feng-Yan Bai.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05835.004
Mentions: The abundance of S. cerevisiae associated with fermented beverages initially gave rise to the notion of a ‘man-made organism’, restricted to human settings (Vaughan-Martini and Martini, 1995). The chemical composition of the fermentation environment can vary between different types of beverage, and also throughout the fermentation process. This substrate variability has selected for different yeast breeds that are optimised to ferment specific products, such as wine and sake (Fay and Benavides, 2005). Additionally, several genome signatures of human-driven adaptation have been reported (Sicard and Legras, 2011). However, all fermented beverages adhere to the basic rules of alcoholic fermentation, with different types of sugars being rapidly transformed into ethanol. This metabolic trait has independently evolved in yeasts multiple times, perhaps as an adaptive strategy either because producing high concentrations of ethanol can help to outcompete other microorganisms (Rozpędowska et al., 2011; Thompson et al., 2013) or because it can support faster growth than aerobic fermentation (Pfeiffer et al., 2001). The alcoholic fermentation of sugar-rich substrates by S. cerevisiae and by other yeast species is not exclusive to human beverages. Ethanol content almost equivalent to that of lager beer has been detected in the spontaneously fermenting nectar of the bertam palm in the Malaysian rainforests, although it has not been determined if S. cerevisiae is the dominant fermenter in this context (Figure 2A). This alcoholic nectar is heavily consumed by the pen-tailed treeshrew (Wiens et al., 2008).10.7554/eLife.05835.004Figure 2.Emerging wild ecological niches of S. cerevisiae.

Bottom Line: However, it wasn't until a decade ago that the scientific community started to realise how little was known about this yeast's ecology and natural history, and how this information was vitally important for interpreting its biology.Recent large-scale population genomics studies coupled with intensive field surveys have revealed a previously unappreciated wild lifestyle of S. cerevisiae outside the restrictions of human environments and laboratories.The recent discovery that Chinese isolates harbour almost twice as much genetic variation as isolates from the rest of the world combined suggests that Asia is the likely origin of the modern budding yeast.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Research on Cancer and Ageing of Nice, CNRS UMR 7284, INSERM U1081, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.

ABSTRACT
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in laboratory experiments for over a century and has been instrumental in understanding virtually every aspect of molecular biology and genetics. However, it wasn't until a decade ago that the scientific community started to realise how little was known about this yeast's ecology and natural history, and how this information was vitally important for interpreting its biology. Recent large-scale population genomics studies coupled with intensive field surveys have revealed a previously unappreciated wild lifestyle of S. cerevisiae outside the restrictions of human environments and laboratories. The recent discovery that Chinese isolates harbour almost twice as much genetic variation as isolates from the rest of the world combined suggests that Asia is the likely origin of the modern budding yeast.

Show MeSH