Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center researcher Trey Sato monitors yeast cultures in the lab. Sato and UW-Madison colleagues have engineered yeast to feast on a previously unpalatable sugar, potentially improving the microorganism’s ability to convert sugars to useful biofuels.

Yeast evolution offers hope for cellulosic biofuel

Beer and bread aren’t the only products that rely on the transformational powers of yeast. The prospects for cellulosic ethanol becoming a commercially available clean transportation fuel could also hinge on yeast’s ability to ferment corn stalks, switchgrass, wood chips or other fibrous feed stock.