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Yeast. 1992 Aug;8(8):635-45.

Yeast flocculation: receptor definition by mnn mutants and concanavalin A.

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AFRC Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, U.K.


Yeast flocculation involves the binding of surface lectins on flocculent yeasts, to carbohydrate receptors present as constituents of yeast cell walls. Receptors were investigated by coflocculation of flocculent strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, of both Flo 1 and NewFlo phenotypes, to known mnn mutants which vary in the wall mannan structure. Strong coflocculation was found with mnn1, mnn4, mnn9 and control strains, while very little coflocculation was found with mnn2 and mnn5 strains. In contrast, aggregation of these mutants by concanavalin A, a lectin with similar sugar inhibition to NewFlo phenotype flocculation, showed strong aggregation of mnn1, mnn4 and mnn5 strains and poor aggregation of mnn2 and mnn9 strains. The mmn mutant data suggested that flocculation receptors were the outer-chain mannan side-branches, two or three mannose residues in length, confirming an earlier theory based on sugar inhibition data. The similarities and differences between flocculation and concanavalin A aggregation are discussed.

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