Monday, January 30, 2012
Researchers investigated how yeast responds to stressful environments and discovered that it adapts by gaining or discarding chromosomes. Aneuploidy, or an uneven number of chromosomes, is often seen as deleterious, as in cancers. However, many yeasts are aneuploid and it is hypothesized that this uneven number of chromosomes allows yeast DNA to mutate more readily, thus providing novel genetic material during unstable, stressful environments. This would then allow more rapid phenotypic evolution. In this study, the yeast became drug resistant.