Biotech Updates

Yeast Responds to the Environment by Optimizing its Genome

July 22, 2015

A study conducted by researchers from Babraham Institute and Cambridge University revealed that yeast can modify its genome to take advantage of the excess calories in the environment and attain optimal growth.

The researchers analyzed the genes encoding ribosomes and the target of rapamycin (TOR) signal through examining the gene amplification occurring in yeast engineered to carry a sub-optimal complement of ribosomal DNA genes.

Findings reveal that the engineered yeast cells perceived the normal environment as containing an excess of calories due to their difficulty in producing enough ribosomes to sustain normal levels of protein synthesis. The TOR signalling responds to caloric express, initiating the pathway for ribosomal DNA gene amplification. This amplification provides a long term, heritable increase in ribosome synthesis capacity to enable optimum reproduction rate and make best use of available nutrients.

Read the study at Babraham Institute website.