Summary Budding yeasts (subphylum Saccharomycotina) are found in every biome and are as genetically diverse as plants or animals. To understand budding yeast evolution, we analyzed the genomes of 332 yeast species, including 220 newly sequenced ones, which represent nearly a third of all known budding yeast diversity. Here we establish a robust genus-level phylogeny comprised of 12 major clades, infer the timescale of diversification from the Devonian Period to the present, quantify horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and reconstruct the evolution of 45 metabolic traits and the metabolic toolkit of the Budding Yeast Common Ancestor (BYCA). We infer that BYCA was metabolically complex and chronicle the tempo and mode of genomic and phenotypic evolution across the subphylum, which is characterized by very low HGT levels and widespread losses of traits and the genes that control them. More generally, our results argue that reductive evolution is a major mode of evolutionary diversification.
Ascomycete yeasts are metabolically diverse, with great potential for biotechnology. Here, we report the comparative genome analysis of 29 taxonomically and biotechnologically important yeasts, including 16 newly sequenced. We identify a genetic code change, CUG-Ala, in Pachysolen tannophilus in the clade sister to the known CUG-Ser clade. Our well-resolved yeast phylogeny shows that some traits, such as methylotrophy, are restricted to single clades, whereas others, such as L-rhamnose utilization, have patchy phylogenetic distributions. Gene clusters, with variable organization and distribution, encode many pathways of interest. Genomics can predict some biochemical traits precisely, but the genomic basis of others, such as xylose utilization, remains unresolved. Our data also provide insight into early evolution of ascomycetes. We document the loss of H3K9me2/3 heterochromatin, the origin of ascomycete mating-type switching, and panascomycete synteny at the MAT locus. These data and analyses will facilitate the engineering of efficient biosynthetic and degradative pathways and gateways for genomic manipulation.genomics | bioenergy | biotechnological yeasts | genetic code | microbiology Y easts are fungi that reproduce asexually by budding or fission and sexually without multicellular fruiting bodies (1, 2). Their unicellular, largely free-living lifestyle has evolved several times (3). Despite morphological similarities, yeasts constitute over 1,500 known species that inhabit many specialized environmental niches and associations, including virtually all varieties of fruits and flowers, plant surfaces and exudates, insects and other invertebrates, birds, mammals, and highly diverse soils (4). Biochemical and genomic studies of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaeessential for making bread, beer, and wine-have established much of our understanding of eukaryotic biology. However, in many ways, S. cerevisiae is an oddity among the yeasts, and many important biotechnological applications and highly divergent physiological capabilities of lesser-known yeast species have not been fully exploited (5). Various species can grow on methanol or n-alkanes as sole carbon and energy sources, overproduce vitamins and lipids, thrive under acidic conditions, and ferment unconventional carbon sources. Many features of yeasts make them ideal platforms for biotechnological processes. Their thick cell walls help them survive osmotic shock, and in contrast to bacteria, they are resistant to viruses. Their unicellular form is easy to cultivate, scale up, and harvest. The objective of this study was, therefore, to put yeasts with diverse biotechnological applications in a phylogenomic context and relate their physiologies to genomic SignificanceThe highly diverse Ascomycete yeasts have enormous biotechnological potential. Collectively, these yeasts convert a broad range of substrates into useful compounds, such as ethanol, lipids, and vitamins, and can grow in extremes of temperature, salinity, and pH. We compared 29 yeast genome...
The yeast communities associated with the stingless bees Tetragonisca angustula, Melipona quadrifasciata and Frieseomelitta varia were studied. The bees T. angustula and F. varia showed a strong association with the yeast Starmerella meliponinorum. M. quadrifasciata more frequently carried a species related to Candida apicola, but also vectored low numbers of S. meliponinorum. Some of the yeasts isolated from adult bees were typical of species known to occur in flowers. Other yeast species found in adult bees were more typical of those found in the phylloplane. S. meliponinorum and the species in the C. apicola complex, also part of the Starmerella clade, may have a mutualistic relationship with the bees studied. Many yeasts in that group are often found in bees or substrates visited by bees, suggesting that a mutually beneficial interaction exists between them.
BackgroundThis study is the first to investigate the Brazilian Amazonian Forest to identify new D-xylose-fermenting yeasts that might potentially be used in the production of ethanol from sugarcane bagasse hemicellulosic hydrolysates.Methodology/Principal FindingsA total of 224 yeast strains were isolated from rotting wood samples collected in two Amazonian forest reserve sites. These samples were cultured in yeast nitrogen base (YNB)-D-xylose or YNB-xylan media. Candida tropicalis, Asterotremella humicola, Candida boidinii and Debaryomyces hansenii were the most frequently isolated yeasts. Among D-xylose-fermenting yeasts, six strains of Spathaspora passalidarum, two of Scheffersomyces stipitis, and representatives of five new species were identified. The new species included Candida amazonensis of the Scheffersomyces clade and Spathaspora sp. 1, Spathaspora sp. 2, Spathaspora sp. 3, and Candida sp. 1 of the Spathaspora clade. In fermentation assays using D-xylose (50 g/L) culture medium, S. passalidarum strains showed the highest ethanol yields (0.31 g/g to 0.37 g/g) and productivities (0.62 g/L·h to 0.75 g/L·h). Candida amazonensis exhibited a virtually complete D-xylose consumption and the highest xylitol yields (0.55 g/g to 0.59 g/g), with concentrations up to 25.2 g/L. The new Spathaspora species produced ethanol and/or xylitol in different concentrations as the main fermentation products. In sugarcane bagasse hemicellulosic fermentation assays, S. stipitis UFMG-XMD-15.2 generated the highest ethanol yield (0.34 g/g) and productivity (0.2 g/L·h), while the new species Spathaspora sp. 1 UFMG-XMD-16.2 and Spathaspora sp. 2 UFMG-XMD-23.2 were very good xylitol producers.Conclusions/SignificanceThis study demonstrates the promise of using new D-xylose-fermenting yeast strains from the Brazilian Amazonian Forest for ethanol or xylitol production from sugarcane bagasse hemicellulosic hydrolysates.
The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been widely used to study eukaryotic cell biology, but almost all of this work has used derivatives of a single strain. We have studied 81 independent natural isolates and 3 designated laboratory strains of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Schizosaccharomyces pombe varies significantly in size but shows only limited variation in proliferation in different environments compared with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleotide diversity, π, at a near neutral site, the central core of the centromere of chromosome II is approximately 0.7%. Approximately 20% of the isolates showed karyotypic rearrangements as detected by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and filter hybridization analysis. One translocation, found in 6 different isolates, including the type strain, has a geographically widespread distribution and a unique haplotype and may be a marker of an incipient speciation event. All of the other translocations are unique. Exploitation of this karyotypic diversity may cast new light on both the biology of telomeres and centromeres and on isolating mechanisms in single-celled eukaryotes.
The natural biology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the best known unicellular model eukaryote, remains poorly documented and understood although recent progress has started to change this situation. Studies carried out recently in the Northern Hemisphere revealed the existence of wild populations associated with oak trees in North America, Asia, and in the Mediterranean region. However, in spite of these advances, the global distribution of natural populations of S. cerevisiae, especially in regions were oaks and other members of the Fagaceae are absent, is not well understood. Here we investigate the occurrence of S. cerevisiae in Brazil, a tropical region where oaks and other Fagaceae are absent. We report a candidate natural habitat of S. cerevisiae in South America and, using whole-genome data, we uncover new lineages that appear to have as closest relatives the wild populations found in North America and Japan. A population structure analysis revealed the penetration of the wine genotype into the wild Brazilian population, a first observation of the impact of domesticated microbe lineages on the genetic structure of wild populations. Unexpectedly, the Brazilian population shows conspicuous evidence of hybridization with an American population of Saccharomyces paradoxus. Introgressions from S. paradoxus were significantly enriched in genes encoding secondary active transmembrane transporters. We hypothesize that hybridization in tropical wild lineages may have facilitated the habitat transition accompanying the colonization of the tropical ecosystem.
Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae) represents one of the two vascular plants that have colonized the Antarctic continent, which is usually exposed to extreme environmental conditions. In this work, we have characterized the endophytic fungi associated with the leaves of D. antarctica. Endophytic fungi were recovered from 91 individual plants from diVerent points of Admiralty Bay at King George Island, Antarctica. A total of 26 fungal isolates were obtained from 273 leaf fragments. All isolates were identiWed by analysis of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the rDNA. Alternaria and Phaeosphaeria were the most frequent genera associated with the plant. Other fungal isolates were identi-Wed as Entrophospora sp. and several undescribed Ascomycete species. An interesting result was obtained for the isolates UFMGCB 215 and UFMGCB 262, which were related to fungi associated with bryophytes present in boreal ecosystems. Some isolates showed low identity in the ITS sequences to sequences of fungal species deposited in GenBank, suggesting that these fungi could be new species. This work is the Wrst report on fungal endophytes associated with leaves of the Antarctic grass D. antarctica.
BackgroundHeavy usage of gasoline, burgeoning fuel prices, and environmental issues have paved the way for the exploration of cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol production technologies are emerging and require continued technological advancements. One of the most challenging issues is the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for the desired sugars yields after enzymatic hydrolysis. We hypothesized that consecutive dilute sulfuric acid-dilute sodium hydroxide pretreatment would overcome the native recalcitrance of sugarcane bagasse (SB) by enhancing cellulase accessibility of the embedded cellulosic microfibrils.ResultsSB hemicellulosic hydrolysate after concentration by vacuum evaporation and detoxification showed 30.89 g/l xylose along with other products (0.32 g/l glucose, 2.31 g/l arabinose, and 1.26 g/l acetic acid). The recovered cellulignin was subsequently delignified by sodium hydroxide mediated pretreatment. The acid–base pretreated material released 48.50 g/l total reducing sugars (0.91 g sugars/g cellulose amount in SB) after enzymatic hydrolysis. Ultra-structural mapping of acid–base pretreated and enzyme hydrolyzed SB by microscopic analysis (scanning electron microcopy (SEM), transmitted light microscopy (TLM), and spectroscopic analysis (X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy) elucidated the molecular changes in hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin components of bagasse. The detoxified hemicellulosic hydrolysate was fermented by Scheffersomyces shehatae (syn. Candida shehatae UFMG HM 52.2) and resulted in 9.11 g/l ethanol production (yield 0.38 g/g) after 48 hours of fermentation. Enzymatic hydrolysate when fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae 174 revealed 8.13 g/l ethanol (yield 0.22 g/g) after 72 hours of fermentation.ConclusionsMulti-scale structural studies of SB after sequential acid–base pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis showed marked changes in hemicellulose and lignin removal at molecular level. The cellulosic material showed high saccharification efficiency after enzymatic hydrolysis. Hemicellulosic and cellulosic hydrolysates revealed moderate ethanol production by S. shehatae and S. cerevisiae under batch fermentation conditions.
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