OBJECTIVE: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used worldwide for the production of ale-type beers. This yeast is responsible for the production of the characteristic fruity aroma compounds. Esters constitute an important group of aroma active secondary metabolites produced by S. cerevisiae. Previous work suggests that esterase activity, which results in ester degradation, may be the key factor determining the abundance of fruity aroma compounds. Here, we test this hypothesis by deletion of two S. cerevisiae esterases, IAH1 and TIP1, using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and by studying the effect of these deletions on esterase activity and extracellular ester pools.
RESULTS: Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants were constructed lacking esterase IAH1 and/or TIP1 using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. Esterase activity using 5-(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA) as substrate was found to be significantly lower for ΔIAH1 and ΔIAH1ΔTIP1 mutants compared to wild type (WT) activity (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). As expected, we observed an increase in relative abundance of acetate and ethyl esters and an increase in ethyl esters in ΔIAH1 and ΔTIP1, respectively. Interestingly, the double gene disruption mutant ΔIAH1ΔTIP1 showed an aroma profile comparable to WT levels, suggesting the existence and activation of a complex regulatory mechanism to compensate multiple genomic alterations in aroma metabolism.
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae