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Effects of spaceflight on polysaccharides of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall


Freeze-dried samples of four Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, namely, FL01, FL03, 2.0016, and 2.1424, were subjected to spaceflight. After the satellite’s landing on Earth, the samples were recovered and changes in yeast cell wall were analyzed. Spaceflight strains of all S. cerevisiae strains showed significant changes in cell wall thickness (P < 0.05). One mutant of S. cerevisiae 2.0016 with increased biomass, cell wall thickness, and cell wall glucan was isolated (P < 0.05). The spaceflight mutant of S. cerevisiae 2.0016 showed 46.7%, 62.6%, and 146.0% increment in biomass, cell wall thickness and β-glucan content, respectively, when compared to the ground strain. Moreover, growth curve analysis showed spaceflight S. cerevisiae 2.0016 had a faster growth rate, shorter lag phase periods, higher final biomass, and higher content of β-glucan. Genetic stability analysis showed that prolonged subculturing of spaceflight strain S. cerevisiae 2.0016 did not lead to the appearance of variants, indicating that the genetic stability of S. cerevisiae 2.0016 mutant could be sufficient for its exploitation of β-glucan production.

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This research was funded by the Critical Technique for Food Safety, National Key Technologies R&D Program, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2006BAK02A07-2) and supported by the Outstanding Researcher’s Fund in the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences. We would like to thank Lu-Xiang Liu and Jia-Ping Lv for their help in the spaceflight.

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Correspondence to Qiang Wang.

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Liu, H., Wang, Q., Liu, X. et al. Effects of spaceflight on polysaccharides of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 81, 543–550 (2008).

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  • Spaceflight
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Cell wall
  • β-Glucan
  • Mannan