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Yeast. 1986 Jun;2(2):123-7.

Alcoholic fermentation by 'non-fermentative' yeasts.

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Department of Microbiology and Enzymology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


All type strains of 'non-fermentative' yeasts, available in the culture collection of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, were reinvestigated for their capacity to ferment glucose in the classical Durham tube test. Although visible gas production was absent, nearly all strains produced significant amounts of ethanol under the test conditions. Under conditions of oxygen-limited growth, even strong alcoholic fermentation may occur in a number of yeasts hitherto considered as non-fermentative. Thus, shake-flask cultures of Hansenula nonfermentans and Candida silvae fermented more than half of the available sugar to ethanol. It is concluded that the taxonomic test for fermentation capacity, which relies on detection of gas formation in Durham tubes, is not reliable for a physiological classification of yeasts as fermentative and non-fermentative species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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