Experimental approaches to study evolutionary cell biology using yeasts

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1002/yea.3848. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

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Mariana Natalino, Marco Fumasoni


The past century has witnessed tremendous advances in understanding how cells function. Nevertheless, how cellular processes have specifically evolved is still poorly understood. Many studies have highlighted surprising molecular diversity in how cells from various species execute the same processes, and advances in comparative genomics are likely to reveal much more molecular diversity than was believed possible until recently. Extant cells remain therefore the product of evolutionary history we vastly ignore. Evolutionary cell biology has emerged as a discipline aimed to address this knowledge gap by combining evolutionary, molecular, and cellular biology thinking. Recent studies have shown how even essential molecular processes, such as DNA replication, can undergo fast adaptive evolution under certain laboratory conditions. These approaches can open new lines of research where the evolution of cellular processes can be investigated experimentally. Yeasts naturally find themselves at the forefront of this research line. They not only allow us to observe fast evolutionary adaptation, but they also provide vast genomic, synthetic, and cellular biology tools previously developed by a large community. Here we propose that yeasts can serve as an ‘evolutionary cell lab’ to test hypotheses, principles, and ideas in evolutionary cell biology. We discuss various experimental approaches available for this purpose, and how biology at large can benefit from them.




Life Sciences


evolution, Cell Biology, Molecular biology, Experimental evolution, Yeasts, S. cerevisiae., S. cerevisiae


Published: 2022-12-05 11:33


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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