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Genetic characterization and modification of a bioethanol-producing yeast strain

Zhang, Ke, Di, Ya-Nan, Qi, Lei, Sui, Yang, Wang, Ting-Yu, Fan, Li, Lv, Zhen-Mei, Wu, Xue-Chang, Wang, Pin-Mei, Zheng, Dao-Qiong
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.5 pp. 2213-2223
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, diploidy, ethanol fermentation, ethanol production, feedstocks, flocculation, genes, genetic engineering, genetic variation, horizontal gene transfer, introns, phenotype, phenotypic variation, phylogeny, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, yeasts
Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains isolated from different sources generally show extensive genetic and phenotypic diversity. Understanding how genomic variations influence phenotypes is important for developing strategies with improved economic traits. The diploid S. cerevisiae strain NY1308 is used for cellulosic bioethanol production. Whole genome sequencing identified an extensive amount of single nucleotide variations and small insertions/deletions in the genome of NY1308 compared with the S288c genome. Gene annotation of the assembled NY1308 genome showed that 43 unique genes are absent in the S288c genome. Phylogenetic analysis suggested most of the unique genes were obtained through horizontal gene transfer from other species. RNA-Seq revealed that some unique genes were not functional in NY1308 due to unidentified intron sequences. During bioethanol fermentation, NY1308 tends to flocculate when certain inhibitors (derived from the pretreatment of cellulosic feedstock) are present in the fermentation medium. qRT-PCR and genetic manipulation confirmed that the novel gene, NYn43, contributed to the flocculation ability of NY1308. Deletion of NYn43 resulted in a faster fermentation rate for NY1308. This work disclosed the genetic characterization of a bioethanol-producing S. cerevisiae strain and provided a useful paradigm showing how the genetic diversity of the yeast population would facilitate the personalized development of desirable traits.