With a Little Yeast We Can Have a Feast: Temperature Effects on Ethanol Production in Yeast

Ana Lopez Chirino, Blake Kruse, Megan Krehbiel, Molly Melder, Macy Gleason, Chirstina Anaya


The organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, more commonly known as yeast, goes through a metabolic process known as fermentation through which it converts sugars into alcohol, acids, and gases. The stress on yeast created by varying temperatures have been determined to activate or deactivate the ability of the enzymes in yeast to perform. We tested the rate of ethanol production in yeast at fluctuating temperatures in order to discover in what temperature range yeast growth thrives while withstanding temperature changes. We measured ethanol production of yeast solutions at three different temperature ranges, one constant (room temperature), one going from a low temperature to a high temperature, and one going from a high temperature to a low temperature. As the temperature rose, ethanol production dramatically increased, and as temperature decreased, ethanol production decreased. Yeast cells have adapted to be able to withstand harsh temperatures, and enzyme activity aids in this ability, which is essential for yeast survival.


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