The Awesome Power of Yeast Evolutionary Genetics: New Genome Sequences and Strain Resources for the Saccharomyces sensu stricto Genus

G3 (Bethesda). 2011 Jun;1(1):11-25. doi: 10.1534/g3.111.000273. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


High-quality, well-annotated genome sequences and standardized laboratory strains fuel experimental and evolutionary research. We present improved genome sequences of three species of Saccharomyces sensu stricto yeasts: S. bayanus var. uvarum (CBS 7001), S. kudriavzevii (IFO 1802(T) and ZP 591), and S. mikatae (IFO 1815(T)), and describe their comparison to the genomes of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus. The new sequences, derived by assembling millions of short DNA sequence reads together with previously published Sanger shotgun reads, have vastly greater long-range continuity and far fewer gaps than the previously available genome sequences. New gene predictions defined a set of 5261 protein-coding orthologs across the five most commonly studied Saccharomyces yeasts, enabling a re-examination of the tempo and mode of yeast gene evolution and improved inferences of species-specific gains and losses. To facilitate experimental investigations, we generated genetically marked, stable haploid strains for all three of these Saccharomyces species. These nearly complete genome sequences and the collection of genetically marked strains provide a valuable toolset for comparative studies of gene function, metabolism, and evolution, and render Saccharomyces sensu stricto the most experimentally tractable model genus. These resources are freely available and accessible through

Keywords: yeast species; Saccharomyces genome; evolutionary genetics; genome assembly; genomics; sensu stricto.