Why yeast?

For many years I have studied yeast. The one we use to bake bread and make beer. But, I did not use it for studying fermentation. We used it because it is a good model for studying gene regulation: how the genes turn on and off.

How yeast looks under the microscope. I paint myself. In old days people painted what they saw under microscope The yeast Saccryomyces cerevisiae and schizosaccharomyces pombe


Do you know that concerning gene regulation, there are a lot of similarities between human and yeast? Even though yeast is a single celled organism?

Do you know more than half of the knowledge of the gene regulation is obtained from studying yeast?

Do you know that there is yeast mutant library where every single yeast gene has been deleted one by one?

Do you know that two of the most studied yeast species are Saccryomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) and schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast). Their evolutionary distance is that of between human and fish?  So, if some functional mechanisms are similar between these two yeasts, it is quite possible that these functional mechanisms are the same in human as well!

how we grow the yeast
how we grow the yeast

In conclusion:  the simplicity, the genetic of art and the similarities with human (in some aspects) make yeast a good model system for the researchers.

Checking DNA/RNA (picture source: Wikipedia) you might see this on sometimes in the documentary or criminal TV series

One thought on “Why yeast?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s