University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars > Biotechnology meets Breeding in Baker's Yeast

Biotechnology meets Breeding in Baker's Yeast

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Exploration of the genetic and phenotypic diversity of S. cerevisiae has led to the development of high throughput approaches to phenotyping basic traits and determining with high resolution the underlying genetic variation responsible for trait variation using breeding. This has been highly successful for understanding the genetic architecture of many complex traits in S. cerevisiae as a species. A useful observation from these studies is that virtually any trait of interest can be improved in offspring through breeding and the genetic variation responsible for this improvement comes out of the analysis. These techniques can be applied to any production process in yeast including heterologous protein production (biopharmaceuticals, enzymes), chemical production (commodity, high value, building block chemicals), and can be combined with synthetic biology for new and improved products and processes. It can also be applied to improving yeast in the food and beverage industries. Many yeast used in fermentation industries are hybrids between S. cerevisiae and another relative. They tend to have limited genetic and phenotypic variation. Unfortunately hybrids are not amenable to improvement through breeding as they are sterile. We have overcome the sterility in de novo hybrids and can apply the same high throughput and high resolution, multigenerational approaches to understanding the genetic architecture of complex traits. We have applied this to hybrids that mimic brewing and wine hybrids and can improve the industrially relevant traits in these hybrids through breeding.

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars series.

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