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Published by candicerene

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Published by: candicerene on Sep 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What is yeast?
 Yeasts are eukaryotic microorganisms classified in thekingdom Fungi, with about 1,500 species currentlydescribed; they dominate fungal diversity in the oceans.Most reproduce asexually by budding, although a few do soby binary fission. Yeasts are unicellular, although somespecies with yeast forms may become multicellular throughthe formation of a string of connected budding cells knownas pseudohyphae, or false hyphae as seen in most molds. Yeast size can vary greatly depending on the species,typically measuring 3–4
µm in diameter, although someyeasts can reach over 40
µm.The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been usedin baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousandsof years. It is also extremely important as a model organismin modern cell biology research, and is one of the mostthoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganisms.Researchers have used it to gather information about thebiology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology.Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, areopportunistic pathogens and can cause infections inhumans. Yeasts have recently been used to generateelectricity in microbial fuel cells, and produce ethanol forthe biofuel industry. Yeasts do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogeneticgrouping. At present it is estimated that only 1% of all yeastspecies have been described. The term "yeast" is oftentaken as a synonym for S. cerevisiae, but the phylogeneticdiversity of yeasts is shown by their placement in bothdivisions Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The budding

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