Advertisement

Yeast Don't Need Oxygen

Scientists discover that ancestors of the unicellular fungi can synthesize essential biomolecules with only trace levels of O2.

By | August 11, 2011

Yeast cell membrane visualized by some membrane proteins fused with RFP and GFP fluorescent markersWIKIMEDIA COMMONS, MASUR

Yeast cells are capable of synthesizing steroid molecules—the basic building blocks of the biological membranes that are essential to eukaryotic life—using only trace amounts of oxygen, according to a study published on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this Monday (August 8).

Life began its 3.8-billion-year evolutionary journey when the Earth was largely devoid of oxygen. For eons, anaerobic organisms ruled the planet until photosynthetic, ancestral bacteria proliferated in the ancient seas and filled the atmosphere with the gas about 2.4 billion years ago, opening the door to aerobic life.

But fossils of ancestral yeast cells harboring ancient steroid molecules—of which oxygen is a key component—indicated that these aerobic organisms were around prior to this profusion of atmospheric oxygen. How these early, aerobic yeast-like cells manage to eke out a living when their oceanic habitats contained so little oxygen has baffled biologist for decades.

Biochemist Jacob Waldbauer and colleagues subjected brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to conditions that mimicked the ancient seas, with orders of magnitude less oxygen than today's oceans contain, and found that the cells were still able to construct steroid molecules. He and his colleagues suggest that ancient yeast-like cells may have survived on similarly low oxygen about 3 billion years ago, taking up small amounts of O2 molecules produced by early forms of cyanobacteria to build their steroid molecules, Waldbauer told ScienceNOW.

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: winow

winow

Posts: 3

August 11, 2011

No oxygen?  Really?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 11, 2011

No oxygen?  Really?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 11, 2011

No oxygen?  Really?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 12, 2011

Great Discovery

Jobs in Nigeria

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 12, 2011

Great Discovery

Jobs in Nigeria

Avatar of:

'Parker Chuks'

Posts: 1457

August 12, 2011

Great Discovery

Jobs in Nigeria

Avatar of: Bradbury Arcana

Anonymous

August 17, 2011

Well its not so strange without Oxygen, there are many life forms within the earth who decide not to use it remembering 02 is quite toxic

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 17, 2011

Well its not so strange without Oxygen, there are many life forms within the earth who decide not to use it remembering 02 is quite toxic

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 17, 2011

Well its not so strange without Oxygen, there are many life forms within the earth who decide not to use it remembering 02 is quite toxic

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

Think about anaerobic fermentation and making beer and wine.  Old concept.  Is this really new?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

"Yeast cells are capable of synthesizing steroid molecules—the basic building blocks of the biological membranes that are essential to eukaryotic life".

Interesting in the wake of steroid quenching drugs like statins. Statins that do not prolong life but gives diabetes, myalgia, heart insuffiency and a lot of other side effects.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

Many thanks for your honesty, why cannot the medical guys tell the truth.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

It's just lack of knowledge by the medical guys. Then they seem to be indoctrinated by the sales reps of the drug companies.

The docs that know about statins true effects are rare

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

OK, statins. I had a chat with my Dogtor about statins and I did mention the possible side effects, he said...Erm !..cough cough..I walked out got home to flush the lot down the loo. What are Dogtors trying to do ?.... Kill of pensioners ?.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

Think about anaerobic fermentation and making beer and wine.  Old concept.  Is this really new?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

"Yeast cells are capable of synthesizing steroid molecules—the basic building blocks of the biological membranes that are essential to eukaryotic life".

Interesting in the wake of steroid quenching drugs like statins. Statins that do not prolong life but gives diabetes, myalgia, heart insuffiency and a lot of other side effects.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

Many thanks for your honesty, why cannot the medical guys tell the truth.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

It's just lack of knowledge by the medical guys. Then they seem to be indoctrinated by the sales reps of the drug companies.

The docs that know about statins true effects are rare

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 22, 2011

OK, statins. I had a chat with my Dogtor about statins and I did mention the possible side effects, he said...Erm !..cough cough..I walked out got home to flush the lot down the loo. What are Dogtors trying to do ?.... Kill of pensioners ?.

Avatar of: winow

winow

Posts: 3

August 22, 2011

Think about anaerobic fermentation and making beer and wine.  Old concept.  Is this really new?

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 22, 2011

"Yeast cells are capable of synthesizing steroid molecules—the basic building blocks of the biological membranes that are essential to eukaryotic life".

Interesting in the wake of steroid quenching drugs like statins. Statins that do not prolong life but gives diabetes, myalgia, heart insuffiency and a lot of other side effects.

Avatar of: Bradbury Arcana

Anonymous

August 22, 2011

Many thanks for your honesty, why cannot the medical guys tell the truth.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 22, 2011

It's just lack of knowledge by the medical guys. Then they seem to be indoctrinated by the sales reps of the drug companies.

The docs that know about statins true effects are rare

Avatar of: Bradbury Arcana

Anonymous

August 22, 2011

OK, statins. I had a chat with my Dogtor about statins and I did mention the possible side effects, he said...Erm !..cough cough..I walked out got home to flush the lot down the loo. What are Dogtors trying to do ?.... Kill of pensioners ?.

Avatar of: winow

winow

Posts: 3

August 23, 2011

Yeah, you are correct - may be that;s why yeast make EtOH by fermenting sugars in the absence of oxygen.  Better tell the ancients that made beer and wine many millenia ago - like with the Egyptians.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 23, 2011

Yeah, you are correct - may be that;s why yeast make EtOH by fermenting sugars in the absence of oxygen.  Better tell the ancients that made beer and wine many millenia ago - like with the Egyptians.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 23, 2011

Yeah, you are correct - may be that;s why yeast make EtOH by fermenting sugars in the absence of oxygen.  Better tell the ancients that made beer and wine many millenia ago - like with the Egyptians.

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement
Life Technologies