Need to Breathe: Effects of Aerobic Respiration on Baker's Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

Bailey Crocker, Max Darrow, Shauni Windle


Baker’s yeast is a unicellular (one-celled) eukaryotic organism that has long been used industrially for products such as baked goods, alcoholic beverages, ethanol, and more recently has been used in the production of biofuels. This has led to an increasing interest in how to maximize the growth of yeast at a lower cost. For this experiment, we are testing the growth rate of yeast in aerated and non-aerated biochambers. Aerobic respiration is a highly efficient metabolic process which often utilizes oxygen.  We hypothesized that metabolic and growth rates alike are increased by the amount of aeration provided to and subsequent aerobic respiration performed by the yeast. After collecting a limited amount of data, we found that the growth rate of yeast increased when it was aerated compared to less growth when it was not aerated. This shows that yeast could be grown efficiently without having to use expensive alternatives such as excess food.

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