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Silvia Sanchez, Norma; Calahorra, Martha; Ramirez, Jorge; Pena, Antonio (2018)

SALINITY AND HIGH PH AFFECT ENERGY PATHWAYS AND GROWTH IN DEBARYOMYCES HANSENII

Fungal Biol 122(10):977-990
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The physiological behavior of Debaryomyces hansenii in response to saline stress and elevated pH was studied. The combination of 1 M NaCl salt and pH 8.0 was required to produce significant changes in the lag phase of growth and a consequent effect on viability. pH 8.0 in the absence or presence of 1 M NaCl produced changes in physiological functions such as respiration, acidification, rubidium transport, transmembrane potential, and fermentation. Our data indicated a stimulation of the H-ATPase of the plasma membrane at pH 8.0, which increased the transmembrane potential and favored the entry of Na; this effect was intensified in the presence of NaCl, so the increased energy expenditure resulting from H pumping and the extrusion of excess Na affected viability. The gene expression pattern studied by microarrays of cells incubated under saline conditions and high pH revealed a down-regulation in genes related to energy-producing pathways and in some genes involved in the cell cycle and DNA transcription, confirming our experimental hypothesis. Although D. hansenii can tolerate high pH and high salt concentrations, its physiological behavior, is better at pH 6.0 and in the absence of sodium; thus, it is an alkali-halotolerant yeast and not a halophilic yeast as previously proposed by other authors.