Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 231–239

Transcriptional changes associated with ethanol tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae


    • School of Engineering and ScienceVictoria University
  • Paul J. Chambers
    • The Australian Wine Research Institute
  • Grant A. Stanley
    • School of Engineering and ScienceVictoria University
  • Anthony Borneman
    • The Australian Wine Research Institute
  • Sarah Fraser
    • School of Engineering and ScienceVictoria University
Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics

DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2760-7

Cite this article as:
Stanley, D., Chambers, P.J., Stanley, G.A. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2010) 88: 231. doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2760-7


Saccharomyces spp. are widely used for ethanol production; however, fermentation productivity is negatively affected by the impact of ethanol accumulation on yeast metabolic rate and viability. This study used microarray and statistical two-way ANOVA analysis to compare and evaluate gene expression profiles of two previously generated ethanol-tolerant mutants, CM1 and SM1, with their parent, Saccharomyces cerevisiae W303-1A, in the presence and absence of ethanol stress. Although sharing the same parentage, the mutants were created differently: SM1 by adaptive evolution involving long-term exposure to ethanol stress and CM1 using chemical mutagenesis followed by adaptive evolution-based screening. Compared to the parent, differences in the expression levels of genes associated with a number of gene ontology categories in the mutants suggest that their improved ethanol stress response is a consequence of increased mitochondrial and NADH oxidation activities, stimulating glycolysis and other energy-yielding pathways. This leads to increased activity of energy-demanding processes associated with the production of proteins and plasma membrane components, which are necessary for acclimation to ethanol stress. It is suggested that a key function of the ethanol stress response is restoration of the NAD+/NADH redox balance, which increases glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, and higher glycolytic flux in the ethanol-stressed cell. Both mutants achieved this by a constitutive increase in carbon flux in the glycerol pathway as a means of increasing NADH oxidation.


SaccharomycesEthanolStressGene expressionMutants

Supplementary material

253_2010_2760_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.7 mb)
ESM 1(DOC 2718 kb)

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© Springer-Verlag 2010