Chromosomal polymorphism and adaptation to specific industrial environments of Saccharomyces strains
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Several industrial Saccharomyces strains, including bakers', wine, brewers' and distillers' yeasts, have been characterized with regards to their DNA content, chromosomal polymorphism and homologies with the DNA of laboratory strains. Measurement of the DNA contents of cells suggested that most of the industrial yeasts were aneuploids. Polymorphisms in the electrophoretic chromosomal pattern were so large that each strain could be individually identified. However, no specific changes relating to a particular group were observed. Hybridization using different probes from laboratory strains was very strong in all cases, indicating that all industrial strains possess a high degree of DNA homology with laboratory yeasts. Probes URA3, CUP1, LEU2, TRP1, GAL4 or ADC1 demonstrated the presence of one or two bands, two especially in bakers' strains. Also, results indicate that all hybridized genes are located on the same chromosomes both in laboratory and industrial strains. Translocation from chromosome VIII to XVI seems to have occurred in a distillers' strain, judging by the location of the CUP1 probe. Finally, when the SUC2 probe is used, results indicate a very widespread presence of the SUC genes in only bakers' and molasses alcohol distillers' strains. This clearly suggests that amplification of SUC genes is an adaptive mechanism conferring better fitness upon the strains in their specific industrial conditions. The widespread presence of Ty1 and Ty2 elements as well as Y′ subtelomeric sequences could account for the inter- and intrachromosomal changes detected.
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