Killer (Zymocidal) Yeasts

  • Graham G. Stewart
Chapter
Part of the The Yeast Handbook book series (YEASTHDB)

Abstract

Killer yeast strains secrete toxins that are lethal to sensitive strains of the same or related species. All the known killer toxins produced by killer yeasts are proteins that kill sensitive cells. Toxin-producing strains are termed “killers” and susceptible strains are termed “sensitives”. There are strains that do not kill and are not themselves killed and these are called “resistant”. Killer yeasts and their toxins have several applications: combat contaminating wild yeasts in food, control pathogenic fungi in plants, development of novel antimycotics used in the treatment of human and animal fungal infections and control contaminating wild yeasts in winemaking, brewing and other fermentation industries. An alternative to employing a killer strain would be to produce a yeast strain that does not kill but is killer resistant. It has to receive the genetic complement that renders a brewing strain immune to zymocidal activity. Little is known about the relationship between the structure of killer toxins, their killer activity and binding to targets on sensitive cells.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham G. Stewart
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for Brewing and DistillingHeriot Watt UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.GGStewart AssociatesCardiff, WalesUK

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