Surviving the heat: Heterogeneity of response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides insight into thermal damage to the membrane

Stéphane Guyot, Patrick Gervais, Michael Young, Pascale Winckler, Jennifer Dumont, Hazel Davey

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Abstract

Environmental heat stress impacts on the physiology and viability of microbial cells with concomitant implications for microbial activity and diversity. Previously it has been demonstrated that gradual heating of Saccharomyces cerevisiae induces a degree of thermal resistance whereas a heat shock results in a high level of cell death. Here we show that the impact of exogenous nutrients on acquisition of thermal resistance differs between strains.
Using single-cell methods we demonstrate the extent of heterogeneity of the heat stress response within populations of yeast cells and the presence of subpopulations that are reversibly damaged by heat stress. Such cells represent potential for recovery of entire populations once stresses are removed. The results show that plasma membrane permeability and potential are key factors involved in cell survival but thermal resistance is not related to homeoviscous adaptation of the plasma membrane. These results have implications for growth and regrowth of populations experiencing environmental heat stress and our understanding of impacts at the level of the single cell. Given the important role of microbes in biofuel production and bioremediation, a thorough understanding of the impact of stress responses of populations and individuals is highly desirable. Document embargo until 03/04/2016
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2982-2992
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume17
Issue number8
Early online date03 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2015

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