High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) is a stress that exerts broad effects on microorganisms with characteristics similar to those of common environmental stresses. In this study, we aimed to identify genetic mechanisms that can enhance alcoholic fermentation of wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated from Brazilian spirit fermentation vats. Accordingly, we performed a time course microarray analysis on a S. cerevisiae strain submitted to mild sublethal pressure treatment of 50 MPa for 30 min at room temperature, followed by incubation for 5, 10 and 15 min without pressure treatment. The obtained transcriptional profiles demonstrate the importance of post-pressurisation period on the activation of several genes related to cell recovery and stress tolerance. Based on these results, we over-expressed genes strongly induced by HHP in the same wild yeast strain and identified genes, particularly SYM1, whose over-expression results in enhanced ethanol production and stress tolerance upon fermentation. The present study validates the use of HHP as a biotechnological tool for the fermentative industries.
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