Saccharomyces cerevisiaemetabolism in ecological context

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Abstract

The architecture and regulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae metabolic network are among the best studied owing to its widespread use in both basic research and industry. Yet, several recent studies have revealed notable limitations in explaining genotype–metabolic phenotype relations in this yeast, especially when concerning multiple genetic/environmental perturbations. Apparently unexpected genotype–phenotype relations may originate in the evolutionarily shaped cellular operating principles being hidden in common laboratory conditions. Predecessors of laboratory S. cerevisiae strains, the wild and the domesticated yeasts, have been evolutionarily shaped by highly variable environments, very distinct from laboratory conditions, and most interestingly by social life within microbial communities. Here we present a brief review of the genotypic and phenotypic peculiarities of S. cerevisiae in the context of its social lifestyle beyond laboratory environments. Accounting for this ecological context and the origin of the laboratory strains in experimental design and data analysis would be essential in improving the understanding of genotype–environment–phenotype relationships.

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