Identification of genes required for growth under ethanol stress using transposon mutagenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mol Genet Genomics. 2001 Aug;265(6):1112-9. doi: 10.1007/s004380100510.


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits high ethanol tolerance compared with other microorganisms. The mechanism of ethanol tolerance in yeast is thought to be regulated by many genes. To identify some of these genes, we screened for ethanol-sensitive S. cerevisiae strains among a collection of mutants obtained using transposon mutagenesis. Five ethanol-sensitive (ets) mutants were isolated from approximately 7,000 mutants created by transforming yeast cells with a transposon (mTn-lacZ/LEU2)-mutagenized genomic library. Although these mutants grew normally in a rich medium, they could not grow in the same medium containing 6% ethanol. Sequence analysis of the ets mutants revealed that the transposon was inserted in the coding regions of BEM2, PAT1, ROM2, VPS34 and ADA2. We constructed deletion mutants for these genes by a PCR-directed disruption method and confirmed that the disruptants, like the ets mutants, were ethanol sensitive. Thus, these five genes are indeed required for growth under ethanol stress. These mutants were also more sensitive than normal cells to Calcofluor white, a drug that affects cell wall architecture, and Zymolyase, a yeast lytic enzyme containing mainly beta-1,3- glucanase, indicating that the integrity of the cell wall plays an important role in ethanol tolerance in S. cerevisiae.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Hydrolases
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Time Factors
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Benzenesulfonates
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Genetic Markers
  • zymolyase
  • Ethanol
  • C.I. Fluorescent Brightening Agent 28
  • Hydrolases