Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as budding yeast, is key to brewing, baking and winemaking. Yeast is vital for the fermentation process as it processes glucose (sugar) and water into Carbon Dioxide and Ethanol. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is typically found on the surface of ripe fruits such as grapes.
Besides it’s use in food making, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a popular model organism in genetics research, particularly in the field of cell biology. It is one of the most commonly used model organisms to study eukaryotic cells, as it is one of the only unicellular eukaryotes. It also has a very short lifespan, and well-understood genetics, making it a convenient model to study in the lab.
Many proteins involved in the cell cycle and signalling were first discovered in yeast. Saccharomyces cerevisiae are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction. The name ‘budding’ refers to the way that the daughter cells separate from their mother cell in asexual reproduction. A small ‘bud’ develops on the side of the mother cell, maturing until it is ready to separate and grow independently.