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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1996 May; 62(5): 1563–1569.
PMCID: PMC167930

Disruption of the yeast ATH1 gene confers better survival after dehydration, freezing, and ethanol shock: potential commercial applications.


The accumulation of trehalose is a critical determinant of stress resistance in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have constructed a yeast strain in which the activity of the trehalose-hydrolyzing enzyme, acid trehalase (ATH), has been abolished. Loss of ATH activity was accomplished by disrupting the ATH1 gene, which is essential for ATH activity. The delta ath1 strain accumulated greater levels of cellular trehalose and grew to a higher cell density than the isogenic wild-type strain. In addition, the elevated levels of trehalose in the delta ath1 strain correlated with increased tolerance to dehydration, freezing, and toxic levels of ethanol. The improved resistance to stress conditions exhibited by the delta ath1 strain may make this strain useful in commercial applications, including baking and brewing.

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