The Effects of Glucose and Fructose Chemical Structure on Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Growth

Katherine Metzinger, Gage Dagenais, Sydney Cannon, Viktori Diaz Martinez, Jay Walton


Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be manipulated in a variety of conditions to increase growth and ethanol production. The variable of our particular interest is carbohydrate type, specifically monosaccharides. The purpose of our study is to examine whether fructose or glucose yields in the greatest ethanol production and growth when consumed by the S. cerevisiae species. We selected these two monosaccharides for comparison because there is a lack of information on the effects fructose has on S. cerevisiae fermentation properties. We hypothesized that fructose would yield in the greatest ethanol production and S. cerevisiae growth, because its chemical structure would be more easily fermented. We approached this concept by creating a 1.9% carbohydrate concentration using the simple sugars of fructose and glucose; we then observed ethanol production over a ten minute period for four separate trials. Though our results were statistically insignificant, generally, the fructose group had a higher ethanol production, or S. cerevisiae growth; these results contradict with previous experiments that support glucose as yielding the greatest S. cerevisiae growth (Dawson et al. 1932). Therefore, our study establishes a solid foundation for future experiments that are purposed to investigate the maximization of S. cerevisiae growth and ethanol production, by the use of the simple sugar, fructose.

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