Evolution of ecological dominance of yeast species in high-sugar environments.
ABSTRACT: In budding yeasts, fermentation in the presence of oxygen evolved around the time of a whole genome duplication (WGD) and is thought to confer dominance in high-sugar environments because ethanol is toxic to many species. Although there are many fermentative yeast species, only Saccharomyces cerevisiae consistently dominates wine fermentations. In this study, we use coculture experiments and intrinsic growth rate assays to examine the relative fitness of non-WGD and WGD yeast species across environments to assess when S. cerevisiae's ability to dominate high-sugar environments arose. We show that S. cerevisiae dominates nearly all other non-WGD and WGD species except for its sibling species S. paradoxus in both grape juice and a high-sugar rich medium. Of the species we tested, S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus have evolved the highest ethanol tolerance and intrinsic growth rate in grape juice. However, the ability of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus to dominate certain species depends on the temperature and the type of high-sugar environment. Our results indicate that dominance of high-sugar environments evolved much more recently than the WGD, most likely just prior to or during the differentiation of Saccharomyces species, and that evolution of multiple traits contributes to S. cerevisiae's ability to dominate wine fermentations.
Project description:Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its sibling species Saccharomyces paradoxus are known to inhabit temperate arboreal habitats across the globe. Despite their sympatric distribution in the wild, S. cerevisiae is predominantly associated with human fermentations. The apparent ecological differentiation of these species is particularly striking in Europe where S. paradoxus is abundant in forests and S. cerevisiae is abundant in vineyards. However, ecological differences may be confounded with geographic differences in species abundance. To compare the distribution and abundance of these two species we isolated Saccharomyces strains from over 1200 samples taken from vineyard and forest habitats in Slovenia. We isolated numerous strains of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus, as well as a small number of Saccharomyces kudriavzevii strains, from both vineyard and forest environments. We find S. cerevisiae less abundant than S. paradoxus on oak trees both within and outside the vineyard, but more abundant on grapevines and associated substrates. Analysis of the uncultured microbiome shows, that both S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus are rare species in soil and bark samples, but can be much more common in grape must. In contrast to S. paradoxus, European strains of S. cerevisiae have acquired multiple traits thought to be important for life in the vineyard and dominance of wine fermentations. We conclude, that S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus currently share both vineyard and non-vineyard habitats in Slovenia and we discuss factors relevant to their global distribution and relative abundance.
Project description:Due to its commercial value and status as a research model there is an extensive body of knowledge concerning Saccharomyces cerevisiae's cell biology and genetics. Investigations into S. cerevisiae's ecology are comparatively lacking, and are mostly focused on the behaviour of this species in high sugar, fruit-based environments; however, fruit is ephemeral, and presumably, S. cerevisiae has evolved a strategy to survive when this niche is not available. Among other places, S. cerevisiae has been isolated from soil which, in contrast to fruit, is a permanent habitat. We hypothesize that S. cerevisiae employs a life history strategy targeted at self-preservation rather than growth outside of the fruit niche, and resides in forest niches, such as soil, in a dormant and resistant sporulated state, returning to fruit via vectors such as insects. One crucial aspect of this hypothesis is that S. cerevisiae must be able to sporulate in the 'forest' environment. Here, we provide the first evidence for a natural environment (soil) where S. cerevisiae sporulates. While there are further aspects of this hypothesis that require experimental verification, this is the first step towards an inclusive understanding of the more cryptic aspects of S. cerevisiae's ecology.
Project description:The natural history of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is poorly understood and confounded by domestication. In nature, S. cerevisiae and its undomesticated relative S. paradoxus are usually found on the bark of oak trees, a habitat very different from wine or other human fermentations. It is unclear whether the oak trees are really the primary habitat for wild yeast, or whether this apparent association is due to biased sampling. We use culturing and high-throughput environmental sequencing to show that S. paradoxus is a very rare member of the oak bark microbial community. We find that S. paradoxus can grow well on sterile medium made from oak bark, but that its growth is strongly suppressed when the other members of the community are present. We purified a set of twelve common fungal and bacterial species from the oak bark community and tested how each affected the growth of S. paradoxus in direct competition on oak bark medium at summer and winter temperatures, identifying both positive and negative interactions. One Pseudomonas species produces a diffusible toxin that suppresses S. paradoxus as effectively as either the whole set of twelve species together or the complete community present in nonsterilized oak medium. Conversely, one of the twelve species, Mucilaginibacter sp., had the opposite effect and promoted S. paradoxus growth at low temperatures. We conclude that, in its natural oak tree habitat, S. paradoxus is a rare species whose success depends on the much more abundant microbial species surrounding it.
Project description:The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the primary species used by wine makers to convert sugar into alcohol during wine fermentation. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is found in vineyards, but is also found in association with oak trees and other natural sources. Although wild strains of S. cerevisiae as well as other Saccharomyces species are also capable of wine fermentation, a genetically distinct group of S. cerevisiae strains is primarily used to produce wine, consistent with the idea that wine making strains have been domesticated for wine production. In this study, we demonstrate that humans can distinguish between wines produced using wine strains and wild strains of S. cerevisiae as well as its sibling species, Saccharomyces paradoxus. Wine strains produced wine with fruity and floral characteristics, whereas wild strains produced wine with earthy and sulfurous characteristics. The differences that we observe between wine and wild strains provides further evidence that wine strains have evolved phenotypes that are distinct from their wild ancestors and relevant to their use in wine production.
Project description:Wine is a product of grape juice fermentation by yeast. Terroir is a term that encompasses all environmental factors and interactions at a specific geographical site, resulting in the development of regional-specific microbial strains and grape metabolites. In this study we determine the distribution of vineyard-associated wine yeast strains and characterize the flavonoid profile of Pinot Noir grapes among 3 sub-regions in the Okanagan Valley (OV), a major wine region in British Columbia, Canada. Pinot Noir grape samples were collected from 13 vineyards among 3 sub-regions of the OV, namely Kelowna (KE), Naramata-Penticton (NP) and Oliver-Osoyoos (OO), within a week prior to the winery harvesting date in 2016 and 2017. A total of 156 spontaneous Pinot Noir fermentations were conducted and vineyard-associated Saccharomyces strains were isolated from fermentations that reached two-thirds sugar depletion. Using microsatellite genotyping, we identified 103 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains and 9 Saccharomyces uvarum strains. We also identified Saccharomyces paradoxus in one vineyard using ITS sequencing. We developed a microsatellite database of 160 commercial S. cerevisiae strains to determine the identity of the isolated strains and we include the database herein. Commercial strains were widely distributed across the three sub-regions. Forty-two of our 103 S. cerevisiae strains were equivalent or highly similar to commercial strains whereas the remaining 61 were considered as 'unknown' strains. Two S. uvarum strains were previously isolated in other OV studies and none matched the S. uvarum commercial strain BMV58. S. cerevisiae population structure was driven by sub-region, although S. cerevisiae populations did not differ significantly across vintages. S. uvarum and S. paradoxus were only identified in the 2017 vintage, demonstrating dynamic wine yeast populations between vintages. We found that the flavonoid profile of Pinot Noir grapes from the same 13 vineyards was also affected by sub-regional terroir. The anthocyanin content was lower and the proportion of methoxylated anthocyanins and flavonols was higher in Pinot Noir grapes from OO, the warmer sub-region as compared to KE, the cooler sub-region. Our study demonstrates that both yeast populations and metabolites associated with the Pinot Noir variety have sub-regional variation within a viticultural area.
Project description:Natural, also referred to as spontaneous wine fermentations, are carried out by the native microbiota of the grape juice, without inoculation of selected, industrially produced yeast or bacterial strains. Such fermentations are commonly initiated by non-Saccharomyces yeast species that numerically dominate the must. Community composition and numerical dominance of species vary significantly between individual musts, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae will in most cases dominate the late stages of the fermentation and complete the process. Nevertheless, non-Saccharomyces species contribute significantly, positively or negatively, to the character and quality of the final product. The contribution is species and strain dependent and will depend on each species or strain's absolute and relative contribution to total metabolically active biomass, and will therefore, be a function of its relative fitness within the microbial ecosystem. However, the population dynamics of multispecies fermentations are not well understood. Consequently, the oenological potential of the microbiome in any given grape must, can currently not be evaluated or predicted. To better characterize the rules that govern the complex wine microbial ecosystem, a model yeast consortium comprising eight species commonly encountered in South African grape musts and an ARISA based method to monitor their dynamics were developed and validated. The dynamics of these species were evaluated in synthetic must in the presence or absence of S. cerevisiae using direct viable counts and ARISA. The data show that S. cerevisiae specifically suppresses certain species while appearing to favor the persistence of other species. Growth dynamics in Chenin blanc grape must fermentation was monitored only through viable counts. The interactions observed in the synthetic must, were upheld in the natural must fermentations, suggesting the broad applicability of the observed ecosystem dynamics. Importantly, the presence of indigenous yeast populations did not appear to affect the broad interaction patterns between the consortium species. The data show that the wine ecosystem is characterized by both mutually supportive and inhibitory species. The current study presents a first step in the development of a model to predict the oenological potential of any given wine mycobiome.
Project description:Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the main microorganism responsible for the fermentation of wine. Nevertheless, in the last years wineries are facing new challenges due to current market demands and climate change effects on the wine quality. New yeast starters formed by non-conventional Saccharomyces species (such as S. uvarum or S. kudriavzevii) or their hybrids (S. cerevisiae x S. uvarum and S. cerevisiae x S. kudriavzevii) can contribute to solve some of these challenges. They exhibit good fermentative capabilities at low temperatures, producing wines with lower alcohol and higher glycerol amounts. However, S. cerevisiae can competitively displace other yeast species from wine fermentations, therefore the use of these new starters requires an analysis of their behavior during competition with S. cerevisiae during wine fermentation. In the present study we analyzed the survival capacity of non-cerevisiae strains in competition with S. cerevisiae during fermentation of synthetic wine must at different temperatures. First, we developed a new method, based on QPCR, to quantify the proportion of different Saccharomyces yeasts in mixed cultures. This method was used to assess the effect of competition on the growth fitness. In addition, fermentation kinetics parameters and final wine compositions were also analyzed. We observed that some cryotolerant Saccharomyces yeasts, particularly S. uvarum, seriously compromised S. cerevisiae fitness during competences at lower temperatures, which explains why S. uvarum can replace S. cerevisiae during wine fermentations in European regions with oceanic and continental climates. From an enological point of view, mixed co-cultures between S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus or S. eubayanus, deteriorated fermentation parameters and the final product composition compared to single S. cerevisiae inoculation. However, in co-inoculated synthetic must in which S. kudriavzevii or S. uvarum coexisted with S. cerevisiae, there were fermentation performance improvements and the final wines contained less ethanol and higher amounts of glycerol. Finally, it is interesting to note that in co-inoculated fermentations, wine strains of S. cerevisiae and S. uvarum performed better than non-wine strains of the same species.
Project description:Dekkera yeasts have often been considered as alternative sources of ethanol production that could compete with S. cerevisiae. The two lineages of yeasts independently evolved traits that include high glucose and ethanol tolerance, aerobic fermentation, and a rapid ethanol fermentation rate. The Saccharomyces yeasts attained these traits mainly through whole genome duplication approximately 100 million years ago (Mya). However, the Dekkera yeasts, which were separated from S. cerevisiae approximately 200 Mya, did not undergo whole genome duplication (WGD) but still occupy a niche similar to S. cerevisiae. Upon analysis of two Dekkera yeasts and five closely related non-WGD yeasts, we found that a massive loss of cis-regulatory elements occurred in an ancestor of the Dekkera yeasts, which led to improved mitochondrial functions similar to the S. cerevisiae yeasts. The evolutionary analysis indicated that genes involved in the transcription and translation process exhibited faster evolution in the Dekkera yeasts. We detected 90 positively selected genes, suggesting that the Dekkera yeasts evolved an efficient translation system to facilitate adaptive evolution. Moreover, we identified that 12 vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) function genes that were under positive selection, which assists in developing tolerance to high alcohol and high sugar stress. We also revealed that the enzyme PGK1 is responsible for the increased rate of glycolysis in the Dekkera yeasts. These results provide important insights to understand the independent adaptive evolution of the Dekkera yeasts and provide tools for genetic modification promoting industrial usage.
Project description:Saccharomyces cerevisiae is predominantly found in association with human activities, particularly the production of alcoholic beverages. S. paradoxus, the closest known relative of S. cerevisiae, is commonly found on exudates and bark of deciduous trees and in associated soils. This has lead to the idea that S. cerevisiae is a domesticated species, specialized for the fermentation of alcoholic beverages, and isolates of S. cerevisiae from other sources simply represent migrants from these fermentations. We have surveyed DNA sequence diversity at five loci in 81 strains of S. cerevisiae that were isolated from a variety of human and natural fermentations as well as sources unrelated to alcoholic beverage production, such as tree exudates and immunocompromised patients. Diversity within vineyard strains and within saké strains is low, consistent with their status as domesticated stocks. The oldest lineages and the majority of variation are found in strains from sources unrelated to wine production. We propose a model whereby two specialized breeds of S. cerevisiae have been created, one for the production of grape wine and one for the production of saké wine. We estimate that these two breeds have remained isolated from one another for thousands of years, consistent with the earliest archeological evidence for wine-making. We conclude that although there are clearly strains of S. cerevisiae specialized for the production of alcoholic beverages, these have been derived from natural populations unassociated with alcoholic beverage production, rather than the opposite.
Project description:The adaptation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to man-made environments for the fermentation of foodstuffs and beverages illustrates the scientific, social, and economic relevance of microbe domestication. Here we address a yet unexplored aspect of S. cerevisiae domestication, that of the emergence of lineages harboring some domestication signatures but that do not fit completely in the archetype of a domesticated yeast, by studying S. cerevisiae strains associated with processed olives, namely table olives, olive brine, olive oil, and alpechin. We confirmed earlier observations that reported that the Olives population results from a hybridization between S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus. We concluded that the olive hybrids form a monophyletic lineage and that the S. cerevisiae progenitor belonged to the wine population of this species. We propose that homoploid hybridization gave rise to a diploid hybrid genome, which subsequently underwent the loss of most of the S. paradoxus sub-genome. Such a massive loss of heterozygosity was probably driven by adaptation to the new niche. We observed that olive strains are more fit to grow and survive in olive brine than control S. cerevisiae wine strains and that they appear to be adapted to cope with the presence of NaCl in olive brine through expansion of copy number of ENA genes. We also investigated whether the S. paradoxus HXT alleles retained by the Olives population were likely to contribute to the observed superior ability of these strains to consume sugars in brine. Our experiments indicate that sugar consumption profiles in the presence of NaCl are different between members of the Olives and Wine populations and only when cells are cultivated in nutritional conditions that support adaptation of their proteome to the high salt environment, which suggests that the observed differences are due to a better overall fitness of olives strains in the presence of high NaCl concentrations. Although relic olive hybrids exhibit several characteristics of a domesticated lineage, tangible benefits to humans cannot be associated with their phenotypes. These strains can be seen as a case of adaptation without positive or negative consequences to humans, that we define as a quasi-domestication.