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S cerevisiae under DIC microscopy.jpg
Yeast cells under a microscope.
Simple diagram of yeast cell (en).svg
A diagram of a typical yeast cell
Scientific classification
Typical divisions

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

Yeast are microorganisms. They are single-celled fungi. There are about 1,500 different species of yeast. Most reproduce asexually, by budding. Some use binary fission to reproduce asexually.

A particular species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been used for thousands of years. It is commonly used for baking bread because the yeast produces carbon dioxide as a by-product of it's consumption of sugars. Yeast is also used for making alcoholic beverages such as beer and mead due to a process known as alcoholic fermentation. During this process both ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide are produced.[1][2] Ethanol is also used as fuel and to make other organic chemicals.

Yeast can be used to make electricity. Yeast is also a model organism for studying cell biology. Some yeasts can cause infections in humans (they are pathogens).

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Media related to Yeast at Wikimedia Commons

  1. Yeast and Sugar Practical Report - Sophie Challis
  2. Yeast and Sugar Experiment Practical Report - Notes - Sophie Challis