Differential hypersaline stress response in : a physiological and transcriptional studyZygosaccharomyces rouxii: a physiological and transcriptional study complex yeasts: a physiological and transcriptional study

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The Zygosaccharomyces rouxii complex comprises three distinct lineages of halotolerant yeasts relevant in food processing and spoilage, such as Z. sapae, Z. rouxii and a mosaic group of allodiploid strains. They manifest plastic genome architecture (variation in karyotype, ploidy level and Na+/H+ antiporter-encoding gene copy number), and exhibit diverse tolerances to salt concentrations. Here, we investigated accumulation of compatible osmolytes and transcriptional regulation of Na+/H+ antiporter-encoding ZrSOD genes during salt exposure in strains representative for the lineages, namely Z. sapae ABT301T (low salt tolerant), Z. rouxii CBS 732T (middle salt tolerant) and allodiploid strain ATCC 42981 (high salt tolerant). Growth curve modelling in 2 M NaCl-containing media supplemented with or without yeast extract as nitrogen source indicates that moderate salt tolerance of CBS 732T mainly depends on nitrogen availability rather than intrinsic inhibitory effects of salt. All the strains produce glycerol and not mannitol under salt stress and use two different glycerol balance strategies. ATCC 42981 produces comparatively more glycerol than Z. sapae and Z. rouxii under standard growth conditions and better retains it intracellularly under salt injuries. Conversely, Z. sapae and Z. rouxii enhance glycerol production under salt stress and intracellularly retain glycerol less efficiently than ATCC 42981. Expression analysis shows that, in diploid Z. sapae and allodiploid ATCC 42981, transcription of gene variants ZrSOD2-22/ZrSOD2 and ZrSOD22 is constitutive and salt unresponsive.

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