Global expression studies in baker's yeast reveal target genes for the improvement of industrially-relevant traits: the cases of CAF16 and ORC2
Department of Biotechnology, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los Alimentos (CSIC), P.O. Box 73, E-46100-Burjassot Valencia, Spain
Microbial Cell Factories 2010, 9:56 doi:10.1186/1475-2859-9-56Published: 13 July 2010
Recent years have seen a huge growth in the market of industrial yeasts with the need for strains affording better performance or to be used in new applications. Stress tolerance of commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts is, without doubt, a trait that needs improving. Such trait is, however, complex, and therefore only in-depth knowledge of their biochemical, physiological and genetic principles can help us to define improvement strategies and to identify the key factors for strain selection.
We have determined the transcriptional response of commercial baker's yeast cells to both high-sucrose and lean dough by using DNA macroarrays and liquid dough (LD) model system. Cells from compressed yeast blocks display a reciprocal transcription program to that commonly reported for laboratory strains exposed to osmotic stress. This discrepancy likely reflects differences in strain background and/or experimental design. Quite remarkably, we also found that the transcriptional response of starved baker's yeast cells was qualitatively similar in the presence or absence of sucrose in the LD. Nevertheless, there was a set of differentially regulated genes, which might be relevant for cells to adapt to high osmolarity. Consistent with this, overexpression of CAF16 or ORC2, two transcriptional factor-encoding genes included in this group, had positive effects on leavening activity of baker's yeast. Moreover, these effects were more pronounced during freezing and frozen storage of high-sucrose LD.
Engineering of differentially regulated genes opens the possibility to improve the physiological behavior of baker's yeast cells under stress conditions like those encountered in downstream applications.