A theoretical evaluation of growth yields of yeasts

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1991 Jan;59(1):49-63. doi: 10.1007/BF00582119.


Growth yields of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida utilis in carbon-limited chemostat cultures were evaluated. The yields on ethanol and acetate were much lower in S. cerevisiae, in line with earlier reports that site I phosphorylation is absent in this yeast. However, during aerobic growth on glucose both organisms had the same cell yield. This can be attributed to two factors: --S. cerevisiae had a lower protein content than C. utilis; --uptake of glucose by C. utilis requires energy whereas in S. cerevisiae it occurs via facilitated diffusion. Theoretical calculations showed that, as a result of these two factors, the ATP requirement for biomass formation in C. utilis is 35% higher than in S. cerevisiae (theoretical YATP values of 20.8 and 28.1, respectively). The experimental YATP for anaerobic growth of S. cerevisiae on glucose was 16 g biomass.mol ATP-1. In vivo P/O-ratios can be calculated for aerobic growth on ethanol and acetate, provided that the gap between the theoretical and experimental ATP requirements as observed for growth on glucose is taken into account. This was done in two ways: --via the assumption that the gap is independent of the growth substrate (i.e. a fixed amount of ATP bridges the difference between the theoretical and experimental values). --alternatively, on the assumption that the difference is a fraction of the total ATP expenditure, that is dependent on the substrate. Calculations of P/O-ratios for growth of both yeasts on glucose, ethanol, and acetate made clear that only by assuming a fixed difference between theoretical and experimental ATP requirements, the P/O-ratios are more or less independent of the growth substrate. These P/O-ratios are approximately 30% lower than the calculated mechanistic values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Aerobiosis
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Candida / growth & development*
  • Candida / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Ethanol
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose