Tracking alternative versions of the galactose gene network in the genus Saccharomyces and their expansion after domestication

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  • Ana Pontes
  • Francisca Paraíso
  • Yu-Ching Liu
  • Savitree Limtong
  • Sasitorn Jindamorakot
  • Jespersen, Lene
  • Carla Gonçalves
  • Carlos A. Rosa
  • Isheng Jason Tsai
  • Antonis Rokas
  • Chris Todd Hittinger
  • Paula Gonçalves
  • José Paulo Sampaio

When Saccharomyces cerevisiae grows on mixtures of glucose and galactose, galactose utilization is repressed by glucose, and induction of the GAL gene network only occurs when glucose is exhausted. Contrary to reference GAL alleles, alternative alleles support faster growth on galactose, thus enabling distinct galactose utilization strategies maintained by balancing selection. Here, we report on new wild populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae harboring alternative GAL versions and, for the first time, of Saccharomyces paradoxus alternative alleles. We also show that the non-functional GAL version found earlier in Saccharomyces kudriavzevii is phylogenetically related to the alternative versions, which constitutes a case of trans-specific maintenance of highly divergent alleles. Strains harboring the different GAL network variants show different levels of alleviation of glucose repression and growth proficiency on galactose. We propose that domestication involved specialization toward thriving in milk from a generalist ancestor partially adapted to galactose consumption in the plant niche.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108987
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Genetics, Genomics, Genotyping

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