Genome mining for yeast metabolic diversity

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Yeasts are hugely important organisms used in beer and bread making. Less well known are their key roles in a wide variety of bioindustries, such as the production of fine chemicals, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and biofuels. The yeast taxonomic tree is very broad, with some species/strains particularly well adapted to certain environments and displaying numerous traits of biotechnological interest, though the genetic underpinnings of this adaptation are not yet clear. We have recently begun sequencing the genomes of strains within the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC). The resulting dataset will enable us to hunt for specific genes and gene clusters, genomically co-located groups of genes collectively involved in a single metabolic pathway, that are associated with traits of interest. Crucially, whole genome sequencing enables us to hunt for such genomic elements using computational approaches.

In this project, the student will use computational tools to search a newly developed dataset of approximately 700 diverse yeast genome sequences for metabolic genes and gene clusters. He/she will work with NCYC colleagues and Eagle Genomics Ltd. to fold the resulting software pipeline into a new yeast industrial biotechnology bioinformatics platform. Finally, he/she will work with the IFR Biorefinery Centre to associate important genes or gene clusters with key yeast trait datasets.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1653494 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2019 Christopher Pyatt