Yeast Population Genomics Goes Wild: The Case of Saccharomyces paradoxus

  • Mathieu Hénault
  • Chris Eberlein
  • Guillaume Charron
  • Éléonore Durand
  • Lou Nielly-Thibault
  • Hélène Martin
  • Christian R. LandryEmail author
Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


Speciation and adaptation are important processes that are difficult to study in the invisible microbial world because of the lack of easily identifiable characters that can be correlated with species boundaries and adaptive traits. Genomic tools can be used to assess and measure the genetic and genomic bases of species and population differentiation. This allows for the identification of the genes that are potential targets of natural selection and thus that underlie adaptation to specific environments. Here, we illustrate how useful this approach is by describing recent progress on microbial genomics empowered by studying Saccharomyces paradoxus in the wild. These studies have revealed the spatial and temporal scales at which fungal populations diverge, a quantification of the life history parameters of this yeast and its mechanisms of speciation, which include allopatric speciation driven by geographical barriers and hybrid speciation driven by chromosomal reorganization. Altogether, these studies establish S. paradoxus as an extremely powerful model in microbial population genomics.


Adaptation Hybridization Introgression Population genomics Saccharomyces paradoxus Speciation Yeast 



The authors thank Anna Fijarczyk and Souhir Marsit for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by a NSERC Discovery Grant to CRL. CRL holds the Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Cell and Systems Biology.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathieu Hénault
    • 1
  • Chris Eberlein
    • 1
  • Guillaume Charron
    • 1
  • Éléonore Durand
    • 1
  • Lou Nielly-Thibault
    • 1
  • Hélène Martin
    • 1
  • Christian R. Landry
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Département de Biologie and Département de Biochimie, Microbiologie et Bio-informatiqueInstitut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes, PROTEO, Université LavalQCCanada

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