I am investigating the evolution of ethanol production in yeast belonging to the Saccharomycotina subphylum. Baker's yeast, S. cerevisiae and it's closest sister species share traits such as (I) being good ethanol producers (II) capable of anaerobic growth (III) capable of aerobic fermentation and are because of this, often referred to as Crabtree positive. By characterizing existing yeast and comparing their respirofermentative properties I hope to identify the main evolutionary events that have shaped the genomes of modern yeast and their contribution to the development of the Crabtree effect.
I am also currently working on an experimental setup where I use fermentors for experimental evolution of bad ethanol producers (Crabtree negative yeast), and try to evolve them into good ethanol producers. The ultimate goal of my project is to identify any gross genetic/genomic changes responsible for the shift in phenotype and to compare them to the ones which have shaped the genomes of the existing modern yeast.
I have up to now mainly acted as laboratory assistant on annual courses such as:
Elżbieta Rozpȩdowska, Silvia Galafassi, Louise Johansson, Arne Hagman, Jure Piškur, Concetta Compagno 2011. Candida albicans a pre-whole genome duplication yeast is predominantly aerobic and a poor ethanol producer. FEMS Yeast Research Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 285291.