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Mol Biol Evol. 2015 Jul;32(7):1695-707. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msv057. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Evolutionary Advantage Conferred by an Eukaryote-to-Eukaryote Gene Transfer Event in Wine Yeasts.

Author information

1
INRA, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France Montpellier SupAgro, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France Montpellier University, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France.
2
Department of Genetics, University of Valencia, and Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, CSIC, Valencia, Spain.
3
CEA, Institut de Génomique, Genoscope, Centre National de Séquençage, Evry, France.
4
INRA, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France Montpellier SupAgro, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France Montpellier University, UMR1083, SPO, F-34060 Montpellier, France galeote@supagro.inra.fr.

Abstract

Although an increasing number of horizontal gene transfers have been reported in eukaryotes, experimental evidence for their adaptive value is lacking. Here, we report the recent transfer of a 158-kb genomic region between Torulaspora microellipsoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeasts or closely related strains. This genomic region has undergone several rearrangements in S. cerevisiae strains, including gene loss and gene conversion between two tandemly duplicated FOT genes encoding oligopeptide transporters. We show that FOT genes confer a strong competitive advantage during grape must fermentation by increasing the number and diversity of oligopeptides that yeast can utilize as a source of nitrogen, thereby improving biomass formation, fermentation efficiency, and cell viability. Thus, the acquisition of FOT genes has favored yeast adaptation to the nitrogen-limited wine fermentation environment. This finding indicates that anthropic environments offer substantial ecological opportunity for evolutionary diversification through gene exchange between distant yeast species.

KEYWORDS:

FOT genes; HGT; competition; domestication; nitrogen; oligopeptides

PMID:
25750179
PMCID:
PMC4476156
DOI:
10.1093/molbev/msv057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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