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Shraim, Rasha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3351-1179 and Nieuwenhuis, Bart P. S. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8159-4784 (2022): The search for Schizosaccharomyces fission yeasts in environmental metatranscriptomes. In: Yeast, Vol. 39, No. 1-2: pp. 83-94 [PDF, 2MB]


Fission yeast is an important model organism in evolutionary genetics and cell biology research. Nevertheless, most research is limited to a single laboratory strain and knowledge of its natural occurrence is limited, which reduces our understanding of its life history and hinders isolation of new strains from nature. Understanding the natural diversity of fission yeast can provide insight into its genetic and phenotypic diversity and the evolutionary processes that shaped these. Here, we aimed to identify candidate natural habitats of fission yeasts by searching through a large collection of publicly available environmental metatranscriptomic datasets. Using a custom pipeline, we processed over 13,000 NCBI SRA accessions, from a wide range of 34 different environmental categories. Overall, we found a very low abundance of putative yeast transcripts, with most fission yeast signatures coming from the categories of ‘food’ and ‘terrestrial arthropods’. Additionally, a signal could be found in a variety of marine and fresh aquatic habitats. Our results do not provide a conclusive answer on the natural habitat of fission yeasts, but our analysis further narrows the range of locations where fission yeasts naturally occur.

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