Pichia pastoris is a yeast that has been used for decades in scientific research as a model organism for research in eukaryotic cell biology, genetics and developmental biology. It has also contributed to the creation of drugs such as insulin and human growth hormone.
What is Pichia pastoris?
Pichia pastoris is also known as Hansenula polymorpha and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a single-celled fungus that produces alcohol during fermentation. This has made it used for years as a common tool in biotechnology. It has the affinity to be modified to produce human proteins, which are then used as pharmaceuticals or as research tools because of its ability to grow in a non-animal medium. This allows the use of bioreactors and other techniques that are not possible with animal cells.
When was the Pichia pastoris strain discovered?
The genome of Pichia pastoris was first isolated from pine trees in 1883 by Dr. Emil Hansen. But it was not sequenced or used until the 1980s when it was discovered that this yeast could be used to grow other proteins, mass-produce enzymes efficiently and other aspects of modern biotechnology.
Characteristics of Pichia Pastoris
This yeast has different characteristics that make it an ideal choice for research and development of new vaccines, enzymes and pharmaceuticals. Among them are:
It is a non-pathogenic yeast species, meaning it does not cause disease in humans.
It grows rapidly, with a doubling time of 20 to 30 minutes under ideal conditions. This facilitates scaling up production processes to make large quantities of product for clinical trials or commercial use.
Can be adapted to grow on a variety of media, including agar gels and nutritionally complete media. This allows researchers to use many different types of conditions in their experiments without having to worry that their results will vary significantly depending on how their cultures grow.
What are the advantages of using Pichia pastoris over other host organisms?
Pichia pastoris is a yeast species that has been used for many years because it has three major advantages over other methods of manufacturing biopharmaceuticals.
First, Pichia pastoris grows at a much faster rate than bacterial cultures. This means that it can be used to produce larger quantities of product in less time.
Secondly, because it is a yeast and not a bacterium, it is easier to grow in a sterile environment. It can be stored at room temperature rather than refrigerated. Third, unlike bacteria and mammalian cells, which require specialized media to grow properly and produce the desired product. Pichia pastoris can grow in low oxygen conditions, with simple sugars such as glucose or sucrose (which means less waste).
This makes it an ideal choice for vaccine production. There are many processes involved in this one, such as growing cells at different temperatures or growing in different media conditions, such as high salt concentrations or a low Ph. This makes it require aeration, but has no effect on the cell growth process itself. This process does not require oxygen supply from the external environment.