Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Genetic Diversity in Yeast Leads to Better Drug Resistance

In a report published in Science Daily, Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Institute for Research on Cancer and Ageing of Nice in France found that greater genetic diversity can be a primer for increased drug and microbial resistance in an organism. The researchers used budding yeast, best known for its use in brewery's and winemaking. Dr Ignacio Vazquez-Garcia, the first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, said: "the degree of diversity within the cell population -- known as clonal heterogeneity -- played a major role in the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance. By sequencing the genomes of sensitive and resistant cells we showed that some cells were pre-adapted, or primed." As the yeast gene pool was diversified, and heterogeneity increased, the yeast were found to be more resistant to microbes, while other yeast died. On the contrary, yeast that has greater homogeneity and inbreeding were less resistant to drugs and disease. This research could be applied to antimicrobial and anticancer drug research, and would make future generations of human medicine more effective in treating cancer and disease. I feel like this didn't really need its own study to prove? I was already under the impression that genetic diversity allows for a species to survive better as a whole, and that drug and microbe resistance was already under that umbrella. The study seems a little redundant.


  1. I agree it is common sense that the more diverse an organism's gene pool is, the more resistant it will be to drugs and disease. However, this study could further there understanding as to why they are more resistant and the downfall of inbreeding.

  2. It makes sense that increased drug and microbial resistance is linked to the genetic diversity in the organism. This study is very interesting, but it also makes a lot of sense: with increased diversity, organisms are better able to adapt and survive in adverse environments. Your last comment was exactly what I was thinking the entire time, but nonetheless, this study is still significant. Good job!