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Pichia pastoris from http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/genomes/view/Pichia-pastoris

This copy of the Pichia pastoris strain GS115 genome was obtained from NCBI. The genome was originally sequenced by the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology and Ghent University at 20X genome coverage using whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing. They assembled the sequence into 4 chromosomes and published in Nature Biotechnology (De Schutter K et al., 2009).
In order to allow comparative analyses with other fungal genomes sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute, a copy of this genome is incorporated into MycoCosm.

Pichia pastoris, also called Komagataella pastoris, is a species of methylotrophic yeast that is frequently used as an expression system for the production of proteins. It has a high growth rate and is its ability to grow on a simple, inexpensive medium makes it suitable for both small and large scale production. P. pastoris is similar to the well-studied Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as baker's yeast) with similar growth conditions and tolerances, and thus the culturing of Pichia pastoris can be readily adopted by labs without specialist equipment.

P. pastoris has two main advantages over Saccharomyces cerevisiae in laboratory and industrial settings for the production of proteins.

  1. It can grow with the simple alcohol methanol as its only source of energy in strong methanol solutions that would kill most other micro-organisms, a system that is cheap to set up and maintain.
  2. Pichia can grow to very high cell densities, and under ideal conditions can multiply to the point where the cell suspension is practically a paste. As the protein yield from expression in a microbe is roughly equal to the product of the protein produced per cell and the number of cells, this makes Pichia of great use when trying to produce large quantities of protein without expensive equipment.

Pichia pastoris has two alcohol oxidase genes, AOX1 and AOX2, which have a strongly inducible promoter. These genes allow Pichia to use methanol as a carbon and energy source. The AOX promoters are induced by methanol and desired genes are often introduced under their control.


Genome Reference(s)