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Generating yeast biodiversity by mitochondrial introgression for wine innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Mitogression (Generating yeast biodiversity by mitochondrial introgression for wine innovation)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-08-31

MITOGRESSION project was developed to understand the phenotypic and genotypic effects of mitochondrial genome inheritance in yeast cybrids and hybrids. Yeasts are responsible of bioconversion of the grape must sugars to ethanol, flavors and other compounds during wine fermentation. The wine industry is facing several challenges that push companies to innovate by searching new wine products, most of them with reduced ethanol content, due to country driving laws and the societal movement to healthy lifestyles, and new organoleptic properties.
MITOGRESSION aims seek to generate new yeast strains able to perform wine fermentations following the new necessities of the wine industry, but also to answer some basic research questions related with genome evolution and speciation.
MITOGRESSION demonstrated the implication of mitochondrial genome inheritance in adaptation to different temperatures, industrial stress tolerance, and production of compounds, which are precursors of aromatic compounds. Additionally, we demonstrated the implication of mitochondrial genome inheritance in the retention of nuclear genome, where industrial interesting traits are encoded. All these results will allow us to build new breeding pipelines for the generation of new yeasts targeting the necessities of industrial company challenges. During MITOGRESSION, we also developed a new methodology to generate new cells combining the genomes of six different species in one. The new methodology will allow studying polyploidy, genome stability, chromosome segregation, cancer and bioenergy. In conclusion, the MITOGRESSION project have generate new insights about the importance of controlling the mitochondrial genome inheritance in new interspecies hybrids to target the demands of the industry.
MITOGRESSION consisted of 6 working packages (WPs).
WP 1 “Project Management”: acquisition of bench material. Organization of experiments. Application to obtain a Master student. Development of a bioinformatic pipeline in a supercomputing center.
WP2 “Training and Career Development”: the PI (Dr. David Peris) attended 8 conferences (2 as an invited speaker) and 1 course. He has mentored 7 people. He submitted 7 projects, and he applied for two postdoctoral positions. 12 new collaborations has been stablished and he expanded the scientific network of SBYBI (Systems Biology of Yeasts of Biotechnological Interest). He has collaborated in 3 scientific projects. He obtained certifications as assistant and associate professor. Moreover, he got 6 awards.
WP3 “Dissemination and Public Engagement”: the PI has been involved in 11 outreach events. He has published 6 papers directly related with the project, 7 publications in collaborations, and 5 press notes associated with the results. He has developed new communication channels, such as YouTube channel.
WP4 “Determine the must fermentation performance driven by sister-species mitogression”: strains were constructed and phenotyped. Mitochondrial genome inheritance has an impact in thermotolerance. Mitochondrial genome influences in stress tolerance and compound production.
WP5 “Determine phenotypic and genotypic changes during experimental evolution”: adaptive laboratory experiments demonstrated the influence of mitochondrial genome inheritance in interspecies hybrids. The fitness of strains improved and the mitochondrial genome influenced in genomic and phenotypic outputs.
WP6 “Determine pre-zygotic and post-zygotic barriers driven by mitogression”: No important advances in this WP has been done.
The interest of different companies in the MITOGRESSION research has been demonstrated, as three public-private research grants have been submitted to IVACE, and several journals focused in industrial applications (Tecnifood, Revista Alimentaria, Horizon Magazine) have covered the research performed in MITORGESSION.
Mitochondrial inheritance has an impact in temperature growth profile: the demonstration of the mitochondrial genome influence in temperature tolerance might have an important contribution in the improvement of industrial processes and reduction of industrial costs. The PI envision the generation of interspecies hybrids with S. cerevisiae mitochondrial genome which might grow better at higher temperatures, facilitating the removal of temperature controlling systems and reducing the fermentation times.
Mitochondrial inheritance has an impact in genome retention: the implication of mitochondrial genome in the nuclear retention is important. The PI recommend that if one of the parents contain most of the phenotypic traits for a specific industrial process, the inheritance of the mitochondrial genome of the other parent might facilitate the loss of the important traits if the selective pressure is not performed during the generation of the interspecies hybrids.
Mitochondrial inheritance has an impact in ethanol production and the organoleptic profile: the PI was seeking a reduction of ethanol production by the combination of nuclear:mitochondrial genomes, but the PI did not see a clear pattern. What the PI observed is an impact in compounds related with the TCA, which are used as precursors of aromatic compounds.
iHyPr to study ploidy and cancer: the development of iHyPr was enthusiastically received by researchers, as they saw for the first time the generation of allopolyploids of six-species in Saccharomyces hybrids and their potential research utility. This new method will allow the study of polyploidy and genome stability, which are observed in some organisms and it is frequently observed during the transition of healthy human cells to tumorigenic. The PI expects to exploit this methodology during the coming years.
During the development of MITOGRESSION, the public has been approximated to highlight the importance of biodiversity to find new industrial properties that can solve the industrial challenges, the importance of legalising GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms), as gene transfer among organisms (implies the network of life concept) occur naturally and GMOs utilization can speed-up the development of strains which are necessary to be applied as soon as possible. All these have highlighted the importance of the EU H2020 funding schemes. The communication of all those ideas have been performed in several outreach events and publications in an easy-language the general public can understand.
Yeast with and without Mitochondrial DNA