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Autophagy Gene Overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for Accelerated Sparkling Wine Production

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Title: Autophagy Gene Overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for Accelerated Sparkling Wine Production
Author: Preiss, Richard
Department: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Advisor: van der Merwe, George
Abstract: Traditional sparkling wines are the product of carbonation and aging of a base wine with yeast in the bottle, where yeast cell compounds are released over time which contribute to flavour and appearance. This often lengthy process is known as autolysis. Our lab identified several proteins related to autophagy that result in autolysis when overexpressed. Overexpression of autophagy-related genes ATG3 and ATG4 in industrial wine yeast was found to be a suitable strategy to accelerate cell death and autolysis of wine yeast during nitrogen starvation. We also found that that ATG3 and ATG4 overexpression has pleiotropic ramifications: reduced turnover of autophagic cargo, vacuolar fragmentation, abnormal accumulation of lipids, and accelerated generation of ROS, all of which precede cell death and likely contribute to the impaired response to nitrogen stress. These results work toward solving an important industrial problem, as well as furthering our understanding of autophagy regulation during starvation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10469
Date: 2017-05


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