Development of novel, systematic methods for expanding, screening, and selecting biodiversity in industrial yeast strains
Yeast is arguably the most important industrial microorganism in the world, playing a critical role in the fermentation of food and beverage products, as well as cellular factory for production of biofuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. In order to produce such a range of products efficiently and economically, specialized yeast must be optimized for each task. Current tools for yeast optimization are lacking, especially in the sectors of food, beverage, and feed, where consumers demand non-GMO yeast products. In this proposal, we seek to expand the range of non-GMO yeast strain development tools to facilitate the high-throughput, robust optimization and specialization of yeast. In this way, we expect to be able to develop novel yeast that solve industrial process/product challenges, offer efficiency gains and process optimization opportunities, and/or introduce the potential for novel product flavors, aromas and functions while also meeting end-user demand for non-GMO ingredients.