Ten medically important Saccharomyces strains, comprising six clinical isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and four probiotic strains of Saccharomyces boulardii, were characterized at the genetic and metabolic level and compared with non-medical, commercial yeast strains used in baking and wine-making. Strains were compared by genetic fingerprinting using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis, by ribosomal DNA ITS1 sequencing and by metabolic footprinting using both direct injection mass spectrometry (DIMS) and gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (GC-ToF-MS). Overall, the clinical isolates fell into different groupings when compared with the non-medical strains, with good but not perfect correlation amongst strains at both the genetic and metabolic levels. Probiotic strains of S. boulardii that are used therapeutically to treat human gastro-intestinal tract disorders showed tight clustering both genetically and metabolically. Metabolomics was found to be of value both as a taxonomic tool and as a means to investigate anomalous links between genotype and phenotype. Key discriminatory metabolites were identified when comparing the three main groups of clinical, probiotic and non-medical strains and included molecules such as trehalose, myo-inositol, lactic acid, fumaric acid and glycerol 3-phosphate. This study confirmed the link between a subset of clinical isolates and baking or probiotic strains but also highlighted that in general the clinical strains were more diverse at both the genomic and metabolic levels. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- AFLP fingerprinting
- Direct injection mass spectrometry
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Yeast metabolomics