The Genome of the CTG(Ser1) Yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis Is Plastic

Samuel Vega-Estévez, Andrew Armitage, Helen J. Bates, Richard J. Harrison, Alessia Buscaino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Microorganisms need to adapt to environmental changes, and genome plasticity can lead to rapid adaptation to hostile environments by increasing genetic diversity. Here, we investigate genome plasticity in the CTG(Ser1) yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis, an organism with an enormous potential for second-generation biofuel production. We demonstrate that S. stipitis has an intrinsically plastic genome and that different S. stipitis isolates have genomes with distinct chromosome organizations. Real-time evolution experiments show that S. stipitis genome plasticity is common and rapid since extensive genomic changes with fitness benefits are detected following in vitro evolution experiments. Hybrid MinION Nanopore and Illumina genome sequencing identify retrotransposons as major drivers of genome diversity. Indeed, the number and position of retrotransposons are different in different S. stipitis isolates, and retrotransposon-rich regions of the genome are sites of chromosome rearrangements. Our findings provide important insights into the adaptation strategies of the CTG(Ser1) yeast clade and have critical implications in the development of second-generation biofuels. These data highlight that genome plasticity is an essential factor for developing sustainable S. stipitis platforms for second-generation biofuels production.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01871-21
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofuels
  • CTG clade yeast
  • Genome plasticity
  • Genomic instability
  • Transposons


Dive into the research topics of 'The Genome of the CTG(Ser1) Yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis Is Plastic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this