Identification of genes affecting hydrogen sulfide formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 Mar;74(5):1418-27. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01758-07. Epub 2008 Jan 11.


A screen of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion strain set was performed to identify genes affecting hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) production. Mutants were screened using two assays: colony color on BiGGY agar, which detects the basal level of sulfite reductase activity, and production of H(2)S in a synthetic juice medium using lead acetate detection of free sulfide in the headspace. A total of 88 mutants produced darker colony colors than the parental strain, and 4 produced colonies significantly lighter in color. There was no correlation between the appearance of a dark colony color on BiGGY agar and H(2)S production in synthetic juice media. Sixteen null mutations were identified as leading to the production of increased levels of H(2)S in synthetic juice using the headspace analysis assay. All 16 mutants also produced H(2)S in actual juices. Five of these genes encode proteins involved in sulfur containing amino acid or precursor biosynthesis and are directly associated with the sulfate assimilation pathway. The remaining genes encode proteins involved in a variety of cellular activities, including cell membrane integrity, cell energy regulation and balance, or other metabolic functions. The levels of hydrogen sulfide production of each of the 16 strains varied in response to nutritional conditions. In most cases, creation of multiple deletions of the 16 mutations in the same strain did not lead to a further increase in H(2)S production, instead often resulting in decreased levels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Fermentation
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Library
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae*
  • Species Specificity
  • Wine / microbiology*


  • DNA Primers
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Hydrogen Sulfide