Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



FLO11 encodes a yeast cell wall flocculin that mediates a variety of adhesive phenotypes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Flo11p is implicated in many developmental processes, including flocculation, formation of pseudohyphae, agar invasion, and formation of microbial mats and biofilms. However, Flo11p mediates different processes in different yeast strains. To investigate the mechanisms by which FLO11 determines these differences in colony morphology, flocculation, and invasion, we studied gene structure, function, and expression levels. Nonflocculent Saccharomyces cerevisiae 1278b cells exhibited significantly higher FLO11 mRNA expression, especially in the stationary phase, than highly flocculent S. cerevisiae var. diastaticus. The two strains varied in cell surface hydrophobicity, and Flo11p contributed significantly to surface hydrophobicity in S. cerevisiae var. diastaticus but not in strain 1278b. Sequencing of the FLO11 gene in S. cerevisiae var. diastaticus revealed strain-specific differences, including a 15-amino-acid insertion in the adhesion domain. Flo11p adhesion domains from strain 1278b and S. cerevisiae var. diastaticus were expressed and used to coat magnetic beads. The adhesion domain from each strain bound preferentially to homologous cells, and the preferences were independent of the cells in which the adhesion domains were produced. These results are consistent with the idea that strain-specific variations in the amino acid sequences in the adhesion domains cause different Flo11p flocculation activities. The results also imply that strain-specific differences in expression levels, posttranslational modifications, and allelic differences outside the adhesion domains have little effect on flocculation.


This article was originally published in mSphere, available at doi:10.1128/mSphere.00129-16.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.