Lipidomic Profiling of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zygosaccharomyces bailii Reveals Critical Changes in Lipid Composition in Response to Acetic Acid Stress
Journal article, 2013

When using microorganisms as cell factories in the production of bio-based fuels or chemicals from lignocellulosic hydrolysate, inhibitory concentrations of acetic acid, released from the biomass, reduce the production rate. The undissociated form of acetic acid enters the cell by passive diffusion across the lipid bilayer, mediating toxic effects inside the cell. In order to elucidate a possible link between lipid composition and acetic acid stress, the present study presents detailed lipidomic profiling of the major lipid species found in the plasma membrane, including glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and sterols, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (CEN.PK 113_7D) and Zygosaccharomyces bailii (CBS7555) cultured with acetic acid. Detailed physiological characterization of the response of the two yeasts to acetic acid has also been performed in aerobic batch cultivations using bioreactors. Physiological characterization revealed, as expected, that Z. bailii is more tolerant to acetic acid than S. cerevisiae. Z. bailii grew at acetic acid concentrations above 24 g L−1, while limited growth of S. cerevisiae was observed after 11 h when cultured with only 12 g L−1 acetic acid. Detailed lipidomic profiling using electrospray ionization, multiple-reaction-monitoring mass spectrometry (ESI-MRM-MS) showed remarkable changes in the glycerophospholipid composition of Z. bailii, including an increase in saturated glycerophospholipids and considerable increases in complex sphingolipids in both S. cerevisiae (IPC 6.2×, MIPC 9.1×, M(IP)2C 2.2×) and Z. bailii (IPC 4.9×, MIPC 2.7×, M(IP)2C 2.7×), when cultured with acetic acid. In addition, the basal level of complex sphingolipids was significantly higher in Z. bailii than in S. cerevisiae, further emphasizing the proposed link between lipid saturation, high sphingolipid levels and acetic acid tolerance. The results also suggest that acetic acid tolerance is associated with the ability of a given strain to generate large rearrangements in its lipid profile.


Lina Lindberg

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Industrial biotechnology

Aline XS Santos

University of Geneva

Howard Riezman

University of Geneva

Lisbeth Olsson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Industrial biotechnology

Maurizio Bettiga

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Industrial biotechnology


1932-6203 (ISSN)

Vol. 8 9 e73936

Subject Categories

Industrial Biotechnology

Areas of Advance


Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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