Cell wall involvement in the glycerol response to high osmolarity in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii

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Osmotic stress was studied through the induction of the gene coding for glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (DhGPD1) in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii. This yeast responded to modifications in turgor pressure by stimulating the transcription of DhGPD1 when exposed to solutes that cause turgor stress (NaCl or sorbitol), but did not respond to water stress mediated by ethanol. In contrast to what has been documented to occur in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, D. hansenii protoplasts did not show induction in the transcription of DhGPD1 showing a limitation in their response to solute stress. The results presented indicate that the presence of the cell wall is of significance for the induction of DhGPD1 and hence for osmotic regulation in halotolerant D. hansenii. It appears that the main osmosensor that links high osmolarity with glycerol accumulation may be of a different nature in this yeast.

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