Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339315

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

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Eukaryotic acquisition of a bacterial operon

item KOMINEK, JACEK - University Of Wisconsin
item DOERING, DREW - University Of Wisconsin
item OPULENTE, DANA - University Of Wisconsin
item SHEN, XING-XING - Vanderbilt University
item ZHOU, XIAOFAN - Vanderbilt University
item Devirgilio, Jeremy
item HULFACHOR, AMANDA - University Of Wisconsin
item Kurtzman, Cletus
item ROKAS, ANTONIS - Vanderbilt University
item HITTINGER, CHRIS - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the champions of basic biomedical research due to its compact eukaryotic genome and ease of experimental manipulation. Despite these immense strengths, its impact on understanding the genetic basis of natural phenotypic variation has been limited by strain collections that are heavily biased toward the food and beverage industries. One part of my lab investigates the genomic and phenotypic diversity of naturally occurring populations of Saccharomyces, many of which have given rise to domesticated interspecies hybrids. Carbon metabolism varies widely in these natural populations, and we are investigating the genetic basis of variation in these complex traits. All Saccharomyces species prefer fermentation over respiration when levels of the sugar glucose are high. This energetically wasteful trait is evolutionarily derived, and most non-Saccharomyces yeasts prefer to respire if oxygen is available. Cancer cells also exhibit aerobic fermentation or Crabtree-Warburg Effect. In both cases, genes controlling glucose transport, glycolysis, and fermentation are upregulated, while the genes controlling respiration are downregulated. To determine the genetic mechanisms by which this unusual trait has evolved, we are sequencing the genomes of all ~1,000 known species of yeasts from the subphylum Saccharomycotina (, as well as isolating and discovering new species. To date, we have sequenced and begun analyzing the genomes of more than 500 distinct species of yeasts, revealing several novel associations between genome content and metabolic traits, as well as novel correlations among traits and ecologies. Some of these species represent transitional states that will help us reconstruct the order of key genetic changes. We have also discovered several novel cases of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria into fungi. These surprising transfers generally involve metabolic genes and are often tied to traits relevant to the lifestyles of the recipient fungi.