Yeast

Yeasts are eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described[1] (estimated to be 1% of all fungal species).[2] Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of a string of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae, or false hyphae, as seen in most molds.[3] Yeast size can vary greatly depending on the species, typically measuring 3Ц4 µm in diameter, although some yeasts can reach over 40 µm.[4] Most yeasts reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding. By fermentation, the yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and alcohols Ц for thousands of years the carbon dioxide has been used in baking and the alcohol in alcoholic beverages.[5] It is also a centrally important model organism in modern cell biology research, and is one of the most thoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganisms. Researchers have used it to gather information about the biology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology.[6] Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, are opportunistic pathogens and can cause infections in humans. Yeasts have recently been used to generate electricity in microbial fuel cells,[7] and produce ethanol for the biofuel industry. Yeasts do not form a single taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping. The term yeast is often taken as a synonym for Saccharomyces cerevisiae,[8] but the phylogenetic diversity of yeasts is shown by their placement in two separate phyla: the Ascomycota and the Basidiomycota. The budding yeasts ("true yeasts") are classified in the order Saccharomycetales. Yeasts are chemoorganotrophs, as they use organic compounds as a source of energy and do not require sunlight to grow. Carbon is obtained mostly from hexose sugars, such as glucose and fructose, or disaccharides such as sucrose and maltose. Some species can metabolize pentose sugars like ribose,[17] alcohols, and organic acids. Yeast species either require oxygen for aerobic cellular respiration (obligate aerobes) or are anaerobic, but also have aerobic methods of energy production (facultative anaerobes). Unlike bacteria, there are no known yeast species that grow only anaerobically (obligate anaerobes). Yeasts grow best in a neutral or slightly acidic pH environment. Yeasts vary in what temperature range they grow best. For example, Leucosporidium frigidum grows at -2 to 20 ∞C (28 to 68 ∞F), Saccharomyces telluris at 5 to 35 ∞C (41 to 95 ∞F), and Candida slooffi at 28 to 45 ∞C (82 to 113 ∞F).[18] The cells can survive freezing under certain conditions, with viability decreasing over time. In general, yeasts are grown in the laboratory on solid growth media or in liquid broths. Common media used for the cultivation of yeasts include potato dextrose agar (PDA) or potato dextrose broth, Wallerstein Laboratories nutrient (WLN) agar, yeast peptone dextrose agar (YPD), and yeast mould agar or broth (YM). Home brewers who cultivate yeast frequently use dried malt extract (DME) and agar as a solid growth medium. The antibiotic cycloheximide is sometimes added to yeast growth media to inhibit the growth of Saccharomyces yeasts and select for wild/indigenous yeast species. This will change the yeast process. The appearance of a white, thready yeast, commonly known as kahm yeast, is often a byproduct of the lactofermentation (or pickling) of certain vegetables, usually the result of exposure to air. Although harmless, it can give pickled vegetables a bad flavor and Moussest be removed regularly during fermentation.