Intracellular ethanol accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during fermentation.


An intracellular accumulation of ethanol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was observed during the early stages of fermentation (3 h). However, after 12 h of fermentation, the intracellular and extracellular ethanol concentrations were similar. Increasing the osmotic pressure of the medium caused an increase in the ratio of intracellular to extracellular ethanol concentrations at 3 h of fermentation. As in the previous case, the intracellular and extracellular ethanol concentrations were similar after 12 h of fermentation. Increasing the osmotic pressure also caused a decrease in yeast cell growth and fermentation activities. However, nutrient supplementation of the medium increased the extent of growth and fermentation, resulting in complete glucose utilization, even though intracellular ethanol concentrations were unaltered. These results suggest that nutrient limitation is a major factor responsible for the decreased growth and fermentation activities observed in yeast cells at higher osmotic pressures.

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