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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1997 Apr;47(4):405-11.

Isolation of freeze-tolerant laboratory strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae from proline-analogue-resistant mutants.

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Department of Bioscience, Fukui Prefectural University, Japan.


Since some amino acids, polyols and sugars in cells are thought to be osmoprotectants, we expected that several amino acids might also contribute to enhancing freeze tolerance in yeast cells. In fact, proline and charged amino acids such as glutamate, arginine and lysine showed a marked cryoprotective activity nearly equivalent to that of glycerol or trehalose, both known as major cryoprotectants for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To investigate the cryoprotective effect of proline on the freezing stress of yeast, we isolated proline-analogue-resistant mutants derived from a proline-non-utilizing strain of S. cerevisiae. When cultured in liquid minimal medium, many mutants showed a prominent increase, two- to approximately tenfold, in cell viability compared to the parent after freezing in the medium at -20 degrees C for 1 week. Some of the freeze-tolerant mutants were found to accumulate a higher amount of proline, as well as of glutamate and arginine which are involved in proline metabolism. It was also observed that proline-non-utilizer and the freeze-tolerant mutants were able to grow against osmotic stress. These results suggest that the increased flux in the metabolic pathway of specific amino acids such as proline is effective for breeding novel freeze-tolerant yeasts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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