The metabolism of yeast revealed with a computer model

Prof. Natal van Riel and partners study the metabolism of yeast; this is not only essential for bread and beer, but is also central in the industrial fermentations for making biofuel and chemical building blocks from renewable raw materials.

We already know which reactions are in play (the roadmap), however we don’t understand yet how the activities of these reactions (the traffic) is regulated and can be influenced, especially under the fickle condition that occur in nature and large fermenters. For a better understanding of this complex system, the researchers will make a computer model that simulates the chemical processes. Powerful, computational techniques developed by Natal van Riel and co-workers are applied to identify and analyze the dynamic regulation of yeast central metabolism. This is a fundamental scientific challenge with important practical applications.

The project “Monitor, model and master the dynamics of yeast central metabolism - Yeast3M” recently received funding in the NWO program Building Blocks of Life and is a collaboration between the TU/e, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and DSM. 

NWO program Building blocks of life

Sixteen multidisciplinary consortia received over 10 million euros of NWO, ZonMw, FOM and STW for research into the building blocks of life. The research focusses on getting a better understanding of cellular systems, from the perspective of molecular building blocks. Please read the NWO news article (in Dutch) for more information on the program and the other fifteen consortia.