The species of yeasts that colonize floral nectar face two major challenges: high osmotic pressure caused by excessive carbon supply and strong resource competition caused by low nitrogen availability. This project is aimed at identifying the genes and pathways that enable nectar yeasts to grow in the carbon- and nitrogen-stressed environment. Nectar yeasts have presumably evolved strategies to scavenge nitrogen and continue biomass production under conditions where other microbes perish. Understanding the genomic basis of these strategies has the potential to facilitate redesigning of microbes for biofuel production and carbon storage.
Proposer: Tadashi Fukami, Stanford University
Proposal: Genomic basis of the ecological success of nectar yeasts in their carbon-stressed and nitrogen-limited environments