Starvation response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown in anaerobic nitrogen- or carbon-limited chemostat cultures.Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Jun; 71(6):3007-13.AE
Anaerobic starvation conditions are frequent in industrial fermentation and can affect the performance of the cells. In this study, the anaerobic carbon or nitrogen starvation response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was investigated for cells grown in anaerobic carbon or nitrogen-limited chemostat cultures at a dilution rate of 0.1 h(-1) at pH 3.25 or 5. Lactic or benzoic acid was present in the growth medium at different concentrations, resulting in 16 different growth conditions. At steady state, cells were harvested and then starved for either carbon or nitrogen for 24 h under anaerobic conditions. We measured fermentative capacity, glucose uptake capacity, intracellular ATP content, and reserve carbohydrates and found that the carbon, but not the nitrogen, starvation response was dependent upon the previous growth conditions. All cells subjected to nitrogen starvation retained a large portion of their initial fermentative capacity, independently of previous growth conditions. However, nitrogen-limited cells that were starved for carbon lost almost all their fermentative capacity, while carbon-limited cells managed to preserve a larger portion of their fermentative capacity during carbon starvation. There was a positive correlation between the amount of glycogen before carbon starvation and the fermentative capacity and ATP content of the cells after carbon starvation. Fermentative capacity and glucose uptake capacity were not correlated under any of the conditions tested. Thus, the successful adaptation to sudden carbon starvation requires energy and, under anaerobic conditions, fermentable endogenous resources. In an industrial setting, carbon starvation in anaerobic fermentations should be avoided to maintain a productive yeast population.