Why do we study on yeasts?
Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a unicellular eukaryote frequently used for industrial ethanol fermentation. For the following reasons, S. cerevisiae is a valuable model experimental organism for basic researches on biological phenomena commonly observed in eukaryotic species. First, S. cerevisiae cells can grow quickly and inexpensively. Second, compared to higher eukaryotes, the genome size of S. cerevisiae is fairly small. Therefore, in general, cellular systems in S. cerevisiae are simpler than those in higher eukaryotes, and can thus be explored rapidly. It should be noted that the S. cerevisiae genome, the size of which is 13.3 Mb, was the first eukaryotic genome to be completely sequenced. Third, various techniques are available for the genetic engineering of S. cerevisiae cells.
Therefore, we are currently studying UPR using S. cerevisiae as a model organism. Our findings have been applied to other organisms and have contributed to the progress in animal science.
Moreover, yeasts, including S. cerevisiae, are industrially beneficial for production of a wide variety of commercial materials. We believe that our findings will also contribute to molecular breeding of yeast strains for industrial use.