In wild life, yeast cells are able to survive in severe conditions, without nutriment for a long period of time because the cell is able to enter in stationary phase. During this phase, the cell can transform varied sources of energy and pause its growth to preserve the cells from death. It is known that most of genes are downregulated in stationary phase and the cell activity is globally reduced to its strict minimum, while a subset of specialized genes is induced to promote survival in extreme conditions.
Analysing the transcriptome of exponentially grown or quiescent yeasts in preliminary works, we identified a subset of ≈ 140 antisense transcripts anti-correlated with gene transcripts that are specifically expressed in quiescence. We are investigating whether these genes are subject to a transcriptional interference and what are the mechanisms underlying this regulation.