The 2019 British Yeast Group meeting 26-28 June 2019, Newcastle, UK

The 2019 British Yeast Group meeting will take place from 26-28 June 2019 at the County Hotel, Newcastle, UK. BYG 2019 will explore the theme of Discovery to Impact in which fundamental research themes are integrated with applied themes, including biotechnological applications of yeasts, yeasts as disease models, and pathogenic yeasts. The programme features an exciting range of keynote talks from acclaimed invited speakers and will also give early career stage yeast researchers the opportunity to present their recent research results through a series of posters and offered oral presentations. The meeting will also feature a varied social programme offering delegates plenty of opportunities to make new connections, discuss research projects and to strengthen relationships in the British yeast community.

Prof. Ursula Bond will give a talk on "Repurposing the lager yeasts Saccharomyces pastorianus for expanded biotechnological roles."

The yeasts, classified as Saccharomyces pastorianus, are natural hybrids of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces eubayanus that emerged some 500-600 years ago as the dominant yeasts in lager fermentation. The genomes of the lager yeasts contain chromosomes from both of the parental strains as well as a novel set of hybrid chromosomes resulting from recombination at specific sites between the parental chromosomes. We are interested in understanding how these complex polyploid genomes confer unique metabolic activities and selective advantages to lager yeasts during fermentation. Genome mining and molecular analysis of a set of genes unique to lager yeasts, has uncovered a complex transcriptional network impacting on fermentation activity. Additionally, we are exploring ways to add value to lager yeasts through expanding the substrate range of the strains and adding new genetic material to improve industrial fermentation. Examples include novel strains capable of growth on cellulosic biomass and strains producing novel peptides to prevent bacterial contamination during the fermentation process.

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