Why is Yeast important?

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Why is Yeast important?

Yeasts refer to the group of eukaryotic unicellular fungi in which only 1,500 (or 1%) of its entire species have been identified. Because of its physiological properties, yeasts have helped science in many ways especially in the area of biotechnology.

Yeasts served an important role in various forms of food processing and are also utilized as model organisms for the study of cell biology and genetics. There are various types of yeasts that are used in bioremediation, production of industrial ethanol, as well as part of aquarium hobby. Bioremediation is the use of metabolisms of micro organisms, such as yeasts, to help take away pollutants.

In food industry, yeasts are particularly applied in baking bread, in fermenting various types of alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages like root beer, and in the production of xylitol or sugar substitute. Yeasts are also useful as a nutritional supplement common to vegans and health conscious individuals, a probiotic, and as yeast extract or a kind of food additive and flavoring.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is probably the most conventional type of yeast that is used in many ways. It is also referred to as sugar mold” or sugar fungus” which is widely applied since ancient times in the process of brewing alcoholic beverages as a fermenting agent, and in baking as a leavening agent.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is also valuable in studying genetics and cell biology primarily because of its physiological feature as a simple eukaryotic cell that can stand as a representation of other eukaryotic species which includes humans. It is often used in studying the basic cellular processes like reproduction of DNA, cell cycle and division, as well as metabolism.

Aquarium hobbyists also make use of s. cerevisiae to help create carbon dioxide to nurture aquatic plants as a cheaper alternative to commercialized carbon dioxide cylinder systems.

Author: khristine

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