Population structure and gene evolution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

FEMS Yeast Res. 2006 Aug;6(5):702-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2006.00059.x.


The fully sequenced genomes of four species within the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex provide a wealth of information for molecular-evolutionary inference. Yet virtually nothing is known about population-genetic variation within these species, including the molecular-biological and genetic-model organism S. cerevisiae. Here we investigate the population-genetic variation and population structure of S. cerevisiae by sequencing the four loci CDC19, PHD1, FZF1 and SSU1 in 27 strains. Sequence analysis demonstrates a distinct population structure in S. cerevisiae, distinguishing strains collected from a Pennsylvanian oak forest and strains collected from vineyards, perhaps due to ecological rather than geographic factors. The low level of conflict observed between the gene trees estimated for each locus implies moderate recombination in nature. High polymorphism in the gene SSU1 provides evidence of diversifying selection on its protein product, a sulfite exporter, perhaps associated with the use of sulfur-based fungicides in vineyards. FZF1, encoding a transcription factor regulating the expression level of SSU1, displays even greater polymorphism. This, the first multilocus sequence study of population structure in natural isolates of S. cerevisiae, is the first study to demonstrate population structure within S. cerevisiae, and the first study to detect historical selection on a locus important to the natural history of wine yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic