Applied and environmental microbiology

Construction of a quadruple auxotrophic mutant of an industrial polyploid saccharomyces cerevisiae strain by using RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease.

PMID 25281382


Industrial polyploid yeast strains harbor numerous beneficial traits but suffer from a lack of available auxotrophic markers for genetic manipulation. Here we demonstrated a quick and efficient strategy to generate auxotrophic markers in industrial polyploid yeast strains with the RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease. We successfully constructed a quadruple auxotrophic mutant of a popular industrial polyploid yeast strain, Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 4124, with ura3, trp1, leu2, and his3 auxotrophies through RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease. Even though multiple alleles of auxotrophic marker genes had to be disrupted simultaneously, we observed knockouts in up to 60% of the positive colonies after targeted gene disruption. In addition, growth-based spotting assays and fermentation experiments showed that the auxotrophic mutants inherited the beneficial traits of the parental strain, such as tolerance of major fermentation inhibitors and high temperature. Moreover, the auxotrophic mutants could be transformed with plasmids containing selection marker genes. These results indicate that precise gene disruptions based on the RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease now enable metabolic engineering of polyploid S. cerevisiae strains that have been widely used in the wine, beer, and fermentation industries.