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FEMS Yeast Res. 2011 May;11(3):285-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2010.00715.x. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Candida albicans--a pre-whole genome duplication yeast--is predominantly aerobic and a poor ethanol producer.

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Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Yeast species belonging to the lineage that underwent the whole genome duplication (WGD), and including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, can grow under anaerobiosis and accumulate ethanol in the presence of glucose and oxygen. The pre-WGD yeasts, which branched from the S. cerevisiae lineage just before the WGD event, including Kluyveromyces lactis, are more dependent on oxygen and do not accumulate large amounts of ethanol in the presence of excess oxygen. Yeasts that belong to the so-called 'lower branches' of the yeast phylogenetic tree and diverged from S. cerevisiae more than 200 million years ago have so far not been thoroughly investigated for their physiology and carbon metabolism. Here, we have studied several isolates of Candida albicans and Debaryomyces hansenii for their dependence on oxygen. Candida albicans grew very poorly at an oxygen concentration <1 p.p.m. and D. hansenii could not grow at all. In aerobic batch cultivations, C. albicans exhibited a predominantly aerobic metabolism, accumulating only small amounts of ethanol (0.01-0.09 g g(-1) glucose). Apparently, C. albicans and several other pre-WGD yeasts still exhibit the original traits of the yeast progenitor: poor accumulation of ethanol under aerobic conditions and strong dependence on the presence of oxygen.

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