Current Genetics

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 461–469 | Cite as

Yeast cell viability under conditions of high temperature and ethanol concentrations depends on the mitochondrial genome

  • Juan Jiménez
  • Tahía Benítez
Original Articles


Wine yeasts manifest simultaneously a high tolerance to ethanol, thermotolerance, and a high resistance to the mutagenic effects of ethanol on the mitochondrial genome. The transfer of mitochondria from these strains to laboratory yeasts demonstrate that this genome influences the above parameters, since thermotolerance, ethanol-growth tolerance, and the frequency ofrho mutants were either totally or partially modified in the laboratory recipient strain. When the death rate and the rate of formation ofrho mutants were measured under extreme conditions of inhibitory ethanol concentrations and high temperature, a perfect correlation was found between these parameters, and both of them were dependent on the strain of mitochondrial genome. Thus, the transfer of wine yeast mitochondria leads to a lower death rate, and a simultaneous increase in thermotolerance and ethanol tolerance in the recipient strain. These results demonstrate the role that viability plays under conditions of high temperatures and high ethanol concentrations. The greater stability of therho + phenotype shown by the wine yeast mitochondrial genome may be responsible for the increased viability conferred by these mitochondria.

Key words

rho mutants Wine yeast mitochondria Cell viability Ethanol-tolerance Thermotolerance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Jiménez
    • 1
  • Tahía Benítez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Genética, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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