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Cryobiology. 2009 Apr;58(2):170-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2008.11.012. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Effects of ice-seeding temperature and intracellular trehalose contents on survival of frozen Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells.

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National Food Research Institute, 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan.


Freezing tolerance is an important characteristic for baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as it is used to make frozen dough. The ability of yeast cells to survive freezing is thought to depend on various factors. The purpose of this work was to study the viability of yeast cells during the freezing process. We examined factors potentially affecting their survival, including the growth phase, ice-seeding temperature, intracellular trehalose content, freezing period, and duration of supercooling. The results showed that the ice-seeding temperature significantly affected cell viability. In the stationary phase, trehalose accumulation did not affect the viability of yeast cells after brief freezing, although it did significantly affect the viability after prolonged freezing. In the log phase, the ice-seeding temperature was more important for cell survival than the presence of trehalose during prolonged freezing. The importance of increasing the extracellular ice-seeding temperature was verified by comparing frozen yeast survival rates in a freezing test with ice-seeding temperatures of -5 degrees C and -15 degrees C. We also found that the cell survival rates began to increase at 3h of supercooling. The yeast cells may adapt to subzero temperatures and/or acquire tolerance to freezing stress during the supercooling.

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