Mitochondria inheritance is a key factor for tolerance to dehydration in wine yeast production

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Mitochondria are the cell's powerhouse when organisms are grown in the presence of oxygen. They are also the source of reactive oxygen species that cause damage to the biochemical components of the cell and lead to cellular ageing and death. Under winemaking conditions, Saccharomyces yeasts exclusively have a fermentative metabolism due to the high sugar content of grape must. However, their production as an active dry yeast (ADY) form required aerobic propagation and a dehydration process. In these industrial steps, oxidative stress is particularly harmful for the cell. In this work, we analysed the impact of the mitochondrial genome on oxidative stress response, longevity and dehydration tolerance using the synthetic interspecific hybrids obtained between two S. cerevisiae and S. uvarum strains. The isogenic nature of nuclear DNA of such hybrids allowed us to analyse the impact of mitochondrial DNA for fermentative and oxidative stress conditions. Under grape must conditions, the inheritance of mitochondrial DNA poorly impacted the fermentative performance of interspecific hybrids, unlike the hybrids with S. cerevisiae mitochondrial inheritance, which displayed increased tolerance to oxidative stress and dehydration, and showed an extended chronological longevity when cells were grown with aeration.Significance and Impact of the StudyIn modern oenology, yeast starters are employed to inoculate grape juice, usually in the form of active dry yeast (ADY). The dehydration process implies stressful conditions that lead to oxidative damage. Other yeast species and interspecific hybrids other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae may be used to confer novel properties to the final product. However, these yeasts are usually more sensitive to drying. Understanding the causes of oxidative stress tolerance is therefore necessary for developing the use of these organisms in industry. This study indicates the impact of mitochondrial DNA inheritance for oxidative stress resistance in an interspecific context using isogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces uvarum hybrids.

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