Pichia anomala: cell physiology and biotechnology relative to other yeasts
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Pichia anomala is a most interesting yeast species, from a number of environmental, industrial and medical aspects. This yeast has been isolated from very diverse natural habitats (e.g. in foods, insects, wastewaters etc.) and it also exhibits wide metabolic and physiological diversity. Some of the activities of P. anomala, particularly its antimicrobial action, make it a very attractive organism for biological control applications in the agri-food sectors of industry. Being a ‘robust’ organism, it additionally has potential to be exploited in bioremediation of environmental pollutants. This paper provides an overview of cell physiological characteristics (growth, metabolism, stress responses) and biotechnological potential (e.g. as a novel biocontrol agent) of P. anomala and compares such properties with other yeast species, notably Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which remains the most exploited industrial microorganism. We await further basic knowledge of P. anomala cell physiology and genetics prior to its fuller commercial exploitation, but the exciting biotechnological potential of this yeast is highlighted in this paper.