Eukaryotic Adaptation to Years-Long Starvation Resembles that of Bacteria

Tzemach Aouizerat, Daniel Gelman, Amir Szitenberg, Itay Gutman, Shunit Glazer, Eli Reich, Miriam Schoemann, Rachel Kaplan, Amijai Saragovi, R. Hazan*, Michael Klutstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase (GASP) phenomenon, described in bacteria, reflects the genetic adaptation of bacteria to stress, including starvation, for a long time. Unlike in stationary phase where no cell division occurs, GASP harbors active cell division, concurrent with genetic adaptation. Here we show that GASP occurs also in eukaryotes. Two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc404 and Sc424) have been isolated from 2-year-old sealed bottles of beer. These strains presented advantage in survival and growth over the parent during stress. The differences between the strains are irreversible and therefore genetic in origin rather than epigenetic. Direct competition assays show that Sc404 and Sc424 outcompete the parent in direct competition. DNA sequencing shows changes of the genome: the TOR complexes are mutated, and DNA repair gene mutations confer a mutator phenotype. The differences between the strains are reflected in a difference in taste between beers brewed from them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)545-558
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the genomic applications laboratory in the core research facility unit, Ein-Kerem medical campus for performing our sequencing reactions. We would like to thank Omer Basha, Ephraim Greeenblat, and Roi Krispin for performing professional beer tasting. We would like to thank the members of the Klutstein and Hazan laboratories and N. Balaban for fruitful discussions. This project was funded by a start-up grant to M.K. by the Hebrew University. M.K. and R.H. designed the study analyzed the results and wrote the manuscript. T.A. and D.G. performed most of the experiments and analyzed the data with the help of M.S. and R.K. I.G. helped with beer preparation. S.G. and E.R. helped with experiment design and data analysis. A. Saragovi performed flow cytometry experiments. A. Szitenberg analyzed genomic data. The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s)


  • Biological Sciences
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbial Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Microbiology


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