Effects of sugar concentration on the rate of cellular respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Noah Drew, Colin Isiah Green, Ally Nicolette Irizarry, Kaylin Hall, Willilam Mimbs


We conducted this study to measure and evaluate the consumption of oxygen levels when baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and different sugar concentrations react with each other. We hypothesized that increased sugar concentration would yield decreased oxygen concentration because cellular respiration utilizes glucose and oxygen. This would occur up to a certain threshold, at which sugar concentration inhibits cellular respiration, leading to a constant oxygen concentration. We tested this by adding sugar to a yeast solution to determine how varying amounts of sucrose consumed by the yeast affect their rate of cellular respiration. We recorded results using an O2 sensor in a 250-milliliter bio chamber which contained the same amounts of yeast, water, and sodium phosphate, but various levels of sucrose. We ran three trials for four different amounts of sucrose including: 0.8 grams, 1.4 grams, 1.6 grams, and 1.8 grams. We observed that the highest change was with the 0.8 grams of sucrose and the higher values of sucrose consumed less oxygen. Ultimately, our hypothesis was not supported as increased sugar concentrations did not yield decreased concentration of oxygen. More trials should be conducted with various species of yeast, several types of sugar, and more increments of sugar to provide more beneficial information. The results could be useful in the brewing industry for determining how to optimize fermentation to increase ethanol yield.

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