The collaborative study “Understanding the adaptive laboratory evolution of multiple stress-resistant yeast strains by genome-scale modeling” conducted by ITU faculty member Prof. Dr. Zeynep Petek Çakar from Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) Department was published in the journal “Yeast”.


Improved yeast cells that are resistant to a variety of industrially important stress conditions have been developed by Prof. Dr. Zeynep Petek Çakar’s research group at ITU, using the powerful experimental tool called adaptive laboratory evolution, also known as evolutionary engineering. Stress responses and resistance that occur during adaptive laboratory evolution studies change the ordinary behavior of microbial cells. The identification of the metabolic and molecular differences between the reference and the evolved cells are crucial to obtain improved microorganisms with industrially relevant characteristics. For this purpose, metabolic networks are one of the most useful tools for comparative analysis of such data. In this recent interdisciplinary collaborative study published by the prestigious international journal Yeast (a Q1 journal in the field of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology according to Scopus index), Prof. Çakar and her collaborators (the research group of Prof. Dr. Kutlu Ülgen, Boğaziçi University, Departments of Chemical Engineering and Computational Science and Engineering) integrated differential gene expression profiles of multiple yeast strains that had been evolved under eight different stress conditions (ethanol, caffeine, coniferyl aldehyde, iron, nickel, phenylethanol, and silver) and enzyme kinetics into a genome-scale metabolic model of yeast, using a new enhanced method. The results of the study revealed that the models reconstructed by the methodology were able to simulate experimental conditions, indicating that efficient protein allocation was the main survival goal of cells under stressful conditions, and most metabolic changes during the adaptation mainly resulted from the differences in the metabolic reactions of energy maintenance, cell division, and cell wall formation.