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The oxygen level determines the fermentation pattern in Kluyveromyces lactis

  • Annamaria Merico
  • Silvia Galafassi
  • Jure Piskur
  • Concetta Compagno
Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 749-756
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: FEMS Yeast Research
Volym: 9
Nummer: 5
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Elsevier


Yeasts belonging to the lineage that underwent whole-genome duplication (WGD) possess a good fermentative potential and can proliferate in the absence of oxygen. In this study, we analyzed the pre-WGD yeast Kluyveromyces lactis and its ability to grow under oxygen-limited conditions. Under these conditions, K. lactis starts to increase the glucose metabolism and accumulates ethanol and glycerol. However, under more limited conditions, the fermentative metabolism decreases, causing a slow growth rate. In contrast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces kluyveri in anaerobiosis exhibit almost the same growth rate as in aerobiosis. In this work, we showed that in K. lactis, under oxygen-limited conditions, a decreased expression of RAG1 occurred. The activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase also decreased, likely causing a reduced flux in the pentose phosphate pathway. Comparison of related and characterized yeasts suggests that the behavior observed in K. lactis could reflect the lack of an efficient mechanism to maintain a high glycolytic flux and to balance the redox homeostasis under hypoxic conditions. This could be a consequence of a recent specialization of K. lactis toward living in a niche where the ethanol accumulation at high oxygen concentrations and the ability to survive at a low oxygen concentration do not represent an advantage.


  • Biological Sciences
  • redox
  • hypoxia
  • ethanol
  • Kluyveromyces lactis
  • fermentation


  • ISSN: 1567-1364

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