Researchers observe the identical genetic adaptation in two yeasts

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A analysis group from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC), within the Science Park of the University of Valencia, has revealed in PLOS Genetics a examine that discovers the genetic mechanisms by which Saccharomyces uvarum, one of many yeasts used to make wine, acts in its fermentation. The examine exhibits for the primary time a phenomenon often called “evolutionary convergence” in two completely different species of yeasts that enables them to adapt to a course of directed by people.


The researchers noticed that they’re the identical as these described in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one other yeast extensively used within the trade, which might be the primary case of evolutionary convergence of two completely different species of yeast within the face of a synthetic mechanism created by people, resembling the usage of sulphites.

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This work is the results of a multidisciplinary collaboration between analysis teams of the IATA-CSIC, the University of Valencia and the National University of Comahue (Argentina). The foremost goal was to check the mechanisms concerned within the adaptation to fermentative processes of a species of yeast, Saccharomyces uvarum, which is discovered and actively participates within the fermentation of wine, primarily at low temperatures.

The analysis workforce noticed that Saccharomyces uvarum may present some genetic adjustments that make it simpler for it to develop within the presence of one of the used preservatives in wineries, sulphite, a compound that’s added as an antimicrobial and antioxidant to grape musts throughout wine manufacturing. “This study has allowed us to demonstrate that the mechanism that allows this species to grow in the presence of sulphites is a reciprocal translocation, that is, a recombination between two different chromosomes, something rare in the evolution of these microorganisms,” reveals Roberto Pérez, IATA researcher and a type of liable for the examine.

“It is interesting to note that the mechanism described is a very similar adaptation, and that it has arisen independently, to that which we had described in another species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is more common and used in fermentations. This phenomenon whereby the same adaptation arises independently in two or more organisms is called evolutionary convergence,” explains Amparo Querol, a researcher at IATA and in addition liable for the work.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the species most utilized in fermentation by the trade to ensure the highest quality and stability of the wines. In oenology, crucial yeasts are these belonging to the Saccharomycetaceae household, which incorporates a lot of species of the genus Saccharomyces, that are largely liable for remodeling should into wine, resembling Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Saccharomyces uvarum.

First case of evolutionary convergence in several yeasts

The significance of this examine resides within the truth that it’s the first time that an evolutionary convergence because of impartial translocations has been noticed in two completely different species of yeasts, which permits them to efficiently adapt to an environmental situation generated by man resembling the usage of sulphite in wine fermentations, the scientists state of their work revealed in PLOS Genetics.

“For millennia humans have added sulphites by burning sulfur to preserve wine. This has favored the selection of yeasts, whose role in fermentation was not proven until the nineteenth century adapted to those conditions that do not occur in nature, which is known as unconscious domestication,” says Eladio Barrio, a researcher on the University of Valencia and co-author of the work.


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More data:
Laura G. Macías et al, Convergent adaptation of Saccharomyces uvarum to sulfite, an antimicrobial preservative extensively utilized in human-driven fermentations, PLOS Genetics (2021). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009872

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Researchers observe the identical genetic adaptation in two yeasts (2021, December 6)
retrieved 6 December 2021
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