Saccharomyces cerevisiae (or brewer's yeast, baker's yeast) is a model organism studied in biology laboratories.
Classification of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a unicellular yeast, a eukaryotic organism belonging to the fungal kingdom and the Saccharomycetes family.
Characteristics of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a round or oval cell, 5 to 10 micrometres in diameter. It has a linear double stranded DNA genome containing 13 million base pairs divided into 16 chromosomes (which have been completely sequenced). It replicates fairly quickly, approximately every two hours at 30°C. It can live in different environments:
- in an aerobic environment in the presence of oxygen where it reproduces rapidly through a respiration process;
- in an aerobic environment where it ferments, i.e.it converts sugar into alcohol. It is a widely used yeast in cooking (to raise dough) and to produce alcohol.
Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the laboratory
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model organism in that it is the simplest eukaryotic organism. Researchers can therefore try to understand the processes involved in biological mechanisms before testing in human beings. It has the advantage of reproducing rapidly and can also be transformed in order to express new genes and test substances, etc.
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model organism used to study eukaryotes overall. © Masur, Wikimedia, public domain
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