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FEMS Yeast Res. 2003 Jun;3(4):327-31.

The Kluyver effect revisited.

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Institut Curie, Section de Recherche, Centre Universitaire, Batiment 110, 91405, Orsay, France.


Yeast species can grow on various sugars. However, in many cases the growth on certain sugars (especially oligosaccharides) occurs only under aerobic conditions, and not in anaerobiosis or in the absence of respiration. Fermentation is blocked under these conditions. This apparent dependence of sugar utilization on the respiration has been called Kluyver effect, and such 'respiration-dependent' species are called Kluyver effect positive. A yeast may be Kluyver effect positive for some sugars and not for others. The physiological meaning and the molecular basis of the phenomenon are not clear. It has recently been reported that Kluyveromyces lactis, which is Kluyver effect positive for galactose and a few other sugars, could be converted into a Kluyver effect-negative form by introduction of relevant sugar transporter genes. Such results offer for the first time a direct support to the hypothesis that the immediate cause of the Kluyver effect may be the low level of sugar transporter activities which is not sufficient to sustain the high substrate flow necessary for fermentative growth, whereas the energy-efficient respiratory growth does not require a high rate of sugar uptake. We examined to what extent this sugar transporter theory of the Kluyver effect can be generalized.

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