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FEMS Yeast Res. 2007 Mar;7(2):244-53. Epub 2006 Sep 21.

Identification and classification of genes required for tolerance to freeze-thaw stress revealed by genome-wide screening of Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion strains.

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National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Yeasts used in bread making are exposed to freeze-thaw stress during frozen-dough baking. To clarify the genes required for freeze-thaw tolerance, genome-wide screening was performed using the complete deletion strain collection of diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The screening identified 58 gene deletions that conferred freeze-thaw sensitivity. These genes were then classified based on their cellular function and on the localization of their products. The results showed that the genes required for freeze-thaw tolerance were frequently involved in vacuole functions and cell wall biogenesis. The highest numbers of gene products were components of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase. Next, the cross-sensitivity of the freeze-thaw-sensitive mutants to oxidative stress and to cell wall stress was studied; both of these are environmental stresses closely related to freeze-thaw stress. The results showed that defects in the functions of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress and to cell wall stress. In contrast, defects in gene products involved in cell wall assembly conferred sensitivity to cell wall stress but not to oxidative stress. Our results suggest the presence of at least two different mechanisms of freeze-thaw injury: oxidative stress generated during the freeze-thaw process, and defects in cell wall assembly.

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