Top-Down, Knowledge-Based Genetic Reduction of Yeast Central Carbon Metabolism

Eline D. Postma, Lucas G.F. Couwenberg, Roderick N. van Roosmalen, Jordi Geelhoed, Philip A. de Groot, Pascale Daran-Lapujade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whose evolutionary past includes a whole-genome duplication event, is characterized by a mosaic genome configuration with substantial apparent genetic redundancy. This apparent redundancy raises questions about the evolutionary driving force for genomic fixation of “minor” paralogs and complicates modular and combinatorial metabolic engineering strategies. While isoenzymes might be important in specific environments, they could be dispensable in controlled laboratory or industrial contexts. The present study explores the extent to which the genetic complexity of the central carbon metabolism (CCM) in S. cerevisiae, here defined as the combination of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and a limited number of related pathways and reactions, can be reduced by elimination of (iso)enzymes without major negative impacts on strain physiology. Cas9-mediated, groupwise deletion of 35 of the 111 genes yielded a “minimal CCM” strain which, despite the elimination of 32% of CCM-related proteins, showed only a minimal change in phenotype on glucose-containing synthetic medium in controlled bioreactor cultures relative to a congenic reference strain. Analysis under a wide range of other growth and stress conditions revealed remarkably few phenotypic changes from the reduction of genetic complexity. Still, a well-documented context-dependent role of GPD1 in osmotolerance was confirmed. The minimal CCM strain provides a model system for further research into genetic redundancy of yeast genes and a platform for strategies aimed at large-scale, combinatorial remodeling of yeast CCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0297021
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • central carbon metabolism
  • genetic redundancy
  • minimal genome
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae


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