Interactions between yeasts and zinc

Raffaele De Nicola, Graeme Walker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Zinc is an essential trace element in biological systems. For example, it acts as a cellular membrane stabiliser, plays a critical role in gene expression and genome modification and activates nearly 300 enzymes, including alcohol dehydrogenase. The present chapter will be focused on the influence of zinc on cell physiology of industrial yeast strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with special regard to the uptake and subsequent utilisation of this metal. Zinc uptake by yeast is metabolism-dependent, with most of the available zinc translocated very quickly into the vacuole. At cell division, zinc is distributed from mother to daughter cells and this effectively lowers the individual cellular zinc concentration, which may become zinc depleted at the onset of the fermentation. Zinc influences yeast fermentative performance and examples will be provided relating to brewing and wine fermentations. Industrial yeasts are subjected to several stresses that may impair fermentation performance. Such stresses may also impact on yeast cell zinc homeostasis. This chapter will discuss the practical implications for the correct management of zinc bioavailability for yeast-based biotechnologies aimed at improving yeast growth, viability, fermentation performance and resistance to environmental stresses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationYeast biotechnology
    Subtitle of host publicationdiversity and applications
    EditorsT. Satyanarayana, Gotthard Kunze
    Place of PublicationNetherlands
    PublisherSpringer Netherlands
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9781402082924
    ISBN (Print)9781402082917
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


    • Zinc
    • Gene expression
    • Industrial yeast
    • Vacuole
    • Fermentative performance
    • Homeostasis


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