Caspeta L, Chen Y, Nielsen J
Sci Rep 6 (-) 27003 [2016-05-27; online 2016-05-27]
Exposure to long-term environmental changes across >100s of generations results in adapted phenotypes, but little is known about how metabolic and transcriptional responses are optimized in these processes. Here, we show that thermotolerant yeast strains selected by adaptive laboratory evolution to grow at increased temperature, activated a constitutive heat stress response when grown at the optimal ancestral temperature, and that this is associated with a reduced growth rate. This preventive response was perfected by additional transcriptional changes activated when the cultivation temperature is increased. Remarkably, the sum of global transcriptional changes activated in the thermotolerant strains when transferred from the optimal to the high temperature, corresponded, in magnitude and direction, to the global changes observed in the ancestral strain exposed to the same transition. This demonstrates robustness of the yeast transcriptional program when exposed to heat, and that the thermotolerant strains streamlined their path to rapidly and optimally reach post-stress transcriptional and metabolic levels. Thus, long-term adaptation to heat improved yeasts ability to rapidly adapt to increased temperatures, but this also causes a trade-off in the growth rate at the optimal ancestral temperature.