Yeasts represent a very diverse group of microorganisms, and even strains that are classified as the same species often show a high level of genetic divergence. Yeasts biodiversity is closely related to their applicability. Biotechnological importance of yeast is almost immeasurable. For centuries, people have exploited its enzymatic potential to produce fermented food as bread or alcoholic beverages. Admittedly, yeasts application was initially instinctual, but with science and technology development, these microorganisms got the object of thorough scientific investigations. It must be recognized that yeast represents an excellent scientific model because of its eukaryotic origin and knowledge of genetics of yeast cells as well as metabolism examined in detail. In 1996, the genome of baker yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been elucidated, what opened the opportunity for the global study of the expression and functioning of the eukaryotic genome. Also, currently, an international team is working on the synthesis of the 16 yeast chromosomes by synthetic biology tools, and the results are expected till the end of the year. Nowadays, yeast is regarded as a versatile tool for biotechnological purposes.
Part of the book: Yeast