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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318842

Research Project: Genomic Analyses and Management of Agricultural and Industrial Microbial Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Genomics and the making of yeast biodiversity

item HITTINGER, CHRIS - University Of Wisconsin
item ROKAS, ANTONIS - Vanderbilt University
item BAI, FENG-YAN - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item BOEKHOUT, TEUN - Fungal Biodiversity
item GONCALVES, PAULA - New University Of Lisbon
item JEFFRIES, THOMAS - University Of Wisconsin
item LACHANCE, MARC-ANDRE - University Of Western Ontario
item LIBKIND, DIEGO - Universidad Del Comahue
item ROSA, CARLOS - Federal University Of Minas Gerais
item SAMPAIO, JOSE - New University Of Lisbon
item Kurtzman, Cletus

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Genetics and Development
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2015
Publication Date: 12/2/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Hittinger, C.T., Rokas, A., Bai, F.-Y, Boekhout, T., Goncalves, P., Jeffries, T.W., Kominek, J., Lachance, M.-A, Libkind, D., Rosa, C.A., Sampaio, J.P., Kurtzman, C.P. 2015. Genomics and the making of yeast biodiversity. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 35:100-109.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Yeasts are unicellular fungi that do not form fruiting bodies. Although the yeast lifestyle has evolved multiple times, most known species belong to the subphylum Saccharomycotina (syn. Hemiascomycota, hereafter yeasts). This diverse group includes the premier eukaryotic model system, Saccharomyces cerevisiae; the human commensal and opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans; and over 1,000 other known species (with more continuing to be discovered). Yeasts are found in every biome and continent and are more genetically diverse than angiosperms or chordates. Ease of culture, simple life cycles, and small genomes (~10-20 Mbp) have made yeasts exceptional models for molecular genetics, biotechnology, and evolutionary genomics. Here we discuss recent developments in understanding the genomic underpinnings of the making of yeast biodiversity, comparing and contrasting natural and human-associated evolutionary processes. Only a tiny fraction of yeast biodiversity and metabolic capabilities has been tapped by industry and science. Expanding the taxonomic breadth of deep genomic investigations will further illuminate how genome function evolves to encode their diverse metabolisms and ecologies.