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Journal Articles Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Year : 2009

Pressure treatment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in low-moisture environments


We investigated the influence of cell hydration on the ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CBS 1171 to withstand extreme hydrostatic pressure in order to determine the mechanisms involved in cell resistance. Hydration conditions were modified in two different ways. We first modulated the chemical potential of water by adding glycerol in cell suspensions. Another procedure consisted in dehydrating cells aerobically and immersing them in perfluorooctane, an innocuous hydrophobic liquid used as a pressure-transmitting medium, prior to pressure treatments. This original method made it possible to transmit isostatic pressure to yeast powders without changing the initial water activity (a w) level at which cells had been equilibrated. The a w ranged between 0.11 and 0.99. Pressure treatments were applied at levels of up to 600 MPa for 10 min, 24 h, and 6 days. The dehydration of cells was found to strongly limit, or even prevent, cell inactivation under pressure. Notably, cells suspended in a water–glycerol mixture with a w levels of 0.71 or below were completely protected against all pressure treatments. Moreover, cells dehydrated aerobically survived for 6 days at 600 MPa even when a w levels were relatively high (up to 0.94). We highlighted the crucial role of water content in determining cellular damage under pressure. When water is available in a sufficient amount, high pressure induces membrane permeabilization, causing uncontrolled mass transfers that could lead to death during a prolonged holding under pressure. Possible mechanisms of membrane permeabilization are discussed.

Dates and versions

hal-01625912 , version 1 (30-10-2017)



Marwen Moussa, Vincent Espinasse, Jean-Marie Perrier-Cornet, Patrick Gervais. Pressure treatment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in low-moisture environments. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2009, 85 (1), pp.165 - 174. ⟨10.1007/s00253-009-2126-1⟩. ⟨hal-01625912⟩
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