Comparing Saccharomyces cerevisiae’s production of ethanol through fermentation using different polysaccharides

Sky Triece, Jessica West, Elizabeth Rios, Shirley Williams, Jake Kline


Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a type of yeast that is used in many products we eat and drink every day. Ethanol production differs depending on which polysaccharides are included in the fermentation process. We hypothesize that more ethanol will be produced from cellulose and less from the other polysaccharides because cellulose has the most glucose subunits in the most accessible form compared to starch and apple pectin. To test our hypothesis, we ran trials combining starch, glucose, cellulose and apple pectin with yeast one at a time with yeast and measuring the ethanol that is produced.  Our data supported our hypothesis.  Future works should focus on genetically altering S. cerevisiae to express enzymes to improve the digestion of cellulose to better use in industrial processes.

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