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Yeast. 2013 May;30(5):165-77. doi: 10.1002/yea.2954. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Yeast on the milky way: genetics, physiology and biotechnology of Kluyveromyces lactis.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular and Instituto Universitario de Biotecnología de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.


The milk yeast Kluyveromyces lactis has a life cycle similar to that of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and can be employed as a model eukaryote using classical genetics, such as the combination of desired traits, by crossing and tetrad analysis. Likewise, a growing set of vectors, marker cassettes and tags for fluorescence microscopy are available for manipulation by genetic engineering and investigating its basic cell biology. We here summarize these applications, as well as the current knowledge regarding its central metabolism, glucose and extracellular stress signalling pathways. A short overview on the biotechnological potential of K. lactis concludes this review.

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