Baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an essential ingredient in bakery products. Baker’s yeast is exposed to severe environmental stresses during bread making and the production of commercial yeast products. During bread making, yeast in frozen dough is exposed to freeze-thaw stress, and yeast in high-sugared dough is exposed to high osmolarity. In dried yeast preparation, yeast cells are exposed to air-drying stress.
Gene expression profiles of baker's yeast during initial dough-fermentation were investigated using liquid fermentation (LF) media to obtain insights at the molecular level into rapid adaptation mechanisms of baker's yeast. Results showed the onset of fermentation caused drastic changes in gene expression profiles within 15 min. Genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle were downregulated and genes involved in glycolysis were upregulated, indicating a metabolic shift from respiration to fermentation. Genes involved in ethanol production (PDC genes and ADH1), in glycerol synthesis (GPD1 and HOR2), and in low-affinity hexose transporters (HXT1 and HXT3) were upregulated at the beginning of model dough-fermentation. Among genes upregulated at 15 min, several genes classified as transcription were downregulated within 30 min. These down-regulated genes are involved in messenger RNA splicing and ribosomal protein biogenesis and in transcriptional regulator (SRB8, MIG1). In contrast, genes involved in amino acid metabolism and in vitamin metabolism, such as arginine biosynthesis, riboflavin biosynthesis, and thiamin biosynthesis, were subsequently upregulated after 30 min. Interestingly, the genes involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway were also subsequently upregulated. Our study presents the first overall description of the transcriptional response of baker's yeast during dough-fermentation, and will thus help clarify genomic responses to various stresses during commercial fermentation processes.
In the modern baking industry, high-sucrose-tolerant (HS) and maltose-utilizing (LS) yeast were developed using breeding techniques and are now used commercially. Sugar utilization and high-sucrose tolerance differ significantly between HS and LS yeasts. We analyzed the gene expression profiles of HS and LS yeasts under different sucrose conditions in order to determine their basic physiology. Two-way hierarchical clustering was performed to obtain the overall patterns of gene expression. The clustering clearly showed that the gene expression patterns of LS yeast differed from those of HS yeast. Quality threshold clustering was used to identify the gene clusters containing upregulated genes (cluster 1) and downregulated genes (cluster 2) under high-sucrose conditions. Clusters 1 and 2 contained numerous genes involved in carbon and nitrogen metabolism, respectively. The expression level of the genes involved in the metabolism of glycerol and trehalose, which are known to be osmoprotectants, in LS yeast was higher than that in HS yeast under sucrose concentrations of 5-40%. No clear correlation was found between the expression level of the genes involved in the biosynthesis of the osmoprotectants and the intracellular contents of the osmoprotectants. The current gene expression data were compared with data previously reported in a comprehensive analysis of a gene deletion strain collection. Welch's t-test for this comparison showed that the relative growth rates of the deletion strains whose deletion occurred in genes belonging to cluster 1 were significantly higher than the average growth rates of all deletion strains.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is exposed to freeze-thaw stress in commercial processes, including frozen dough baking. Cell viability and fermentation activity after a freeze-thaw cycle were dramatically decreased due to freeze-thaw injury. Because this type of injury involves complex phenomena, the injury mechanisms are not fully understood. We examined freeze-thaw injury by indirect gene expression analysis during postthaw incubation after freeze-thaw treatment using DNA microarray profiling. The results showed that genes involved in the homeostasis of metal ions were frequently contained in genes that were upregulated, depending on the freezing period. We assessed the phenotype of deletion mutants of the metal ion homeostasis genes that exhibited freezing period-dependent upregulation and found that the strains with deletion of the MAC1 and CTR1 genes involved in copper ion homeostasis exhibited freeze-thaw sensitivity, suggesting that copper ion homeostasis is required for freeze-thaw tolerance. We found that supplementation with copper ions during postthaw incubation increased intracellular superoxide dismutase activity and intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species were decreased. Moreover, cell viability was increased by supplementation with copper ions. These results suggest that insufficiency of copper ion homeostasis may be one of the causes of freeze-thaw injury.
Changes in the gene expression of commercial baker’s yeast during an air-drying process, which simulated dried yeast production, were analyzed. K-means clustering suggested that the genes involved in protein folding were transiently upregulated at early stages, and that the genes involved in fatty acid metabolism were continuously upregulated.
Yeasts used in bread making are exposed to high concentrations of sucrose during sweet dough fermentation. Despite its importance, tolerance to high-sucrose stress is poorly understood at the gene level. To clarify the genes required for tolerance to high-sucrose stress, genome-wide screening was undertaken using the complete deletion strain collection of diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The screening identified 273 deletions that yielded high sucrose sensitivity, approximately 20 of which were previously uncharacterized. These 273 deleted genes were classified based on their cellular function and localization of their gene products. Cross-sensitivity of the high-sucrose-sensitive mutants to high concentrations of NaCl and sorbitol was studied. Among the 273 sucrose-sensitive deletion mutants, 269 showed cross-sensitivities to sorbitol or NaCl, and four (i.e. ade5,7, ade6, ade8, and pde2) were specifically sensitive to high sucrose. The general stress response pathways via high-osmolarity glycerol and stress response element pathways and the function of the invertase in the ade mutants were similar to those in the wild-type strain. In the presence of high-sucrose stress, intracellular contents of ATP in ade mutants were at least twofold lower than that of the wild-type cells, suggesting that depletion of ATP is a factor in sensitivity to high-sucrose stress. The genes identified in this study might be important for tolerance to high-sucrose stress, and therefore should be target genes in future research into molecular modification for breeding of yeast tolerant to high-sucrose stress.
Yeasts used in bread making are exposed to freeze-thaw stress during frozen-dough baking. To clarify the genes required for freeze-thaw tolerance, genome-wide screening was performed using the complete deletion strain collection of diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The screening identified 58 gene deletions that conferred freeze-thaw sensitivity. These genes were then classified based on their cellular function and on the localization of their products. The results showed that the genes required for freeze-thaw tolerance were frequently involved in vacuole functions and cell wall biogenesis. The highest numbers of gene products were components of vacuolar H+-ATPase. Next, the cross-sensitivity of the freeze-thaw-sensitive mutants to oxidative stress and to cell wall stress was studied; both of these are environmental stresses closely related to freeze-thaw stress. The results showed that defects in the functions of vacuolar H+-ATPase conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress and to cell wall stress. In contrast, defects in gene products involved in cell wall assembly conferred sensitivity to cell wall stress but not to oxidative stress. Our results suggest the presence of at least two different mechanisms of freeze-thaw injury: oxidative stress generated during the freeze-thaw process, and defects in cell wall assembly.
Yeasts used in bread making are exposed to air-drying stress during dried yeast production processes. To clarify the genes required for air-drying tolerance, we performed genome-wide screening using the complete deletion strain collection of diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The screening identified 278 gene deletions responsible for air-drying sensitivity. These genes were classified based on their cellular function and on the localization of their gene products. The results showed that the genes required for air-drying tolerance were frequently involved in mitochondrial functions and in connection with vacuolar H+-ATPase, which plays a role in vacuolar acidification. To determine the role of vacuolar acidification in air-drying stress tolerance, we monitored intracellular pH. The results showed that intracellular acidification was induced during air-drying and that this acidification was amplified in a deletion mutant of the VMA2 gene encoding a component of vacuolar H+-ATPase, suggesting that vacuolar H+-ATPase helps maintain intracellular pH homeostasis, which is affected by air-drying stress. To determine the effects of air-drying stress on mitochondria, we analyzed the mitochondrial membrane potential under air-drying stress conditions using MitoTracker. The results showed that mitochondria were extremely sensitive to air-drying stress, suggesting that a mitochondrial function is required for tolerance to air-drying stress. We also analyzed the correlation between oxidative-stress sensitivity and air-drying-stress sensitivity. The results suggested that oxidative stress is a critical determinant of sensitivity to air-drying stress, although ROS-scavenging systems are not necessary for air-drying stress tolerance.