National Collection of Yeast Cultures

The National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) is a BBSRC-supported National Capability and is one of the largest yeast collections in the world, making it a valuable resource for academics as well as industry.

Lead scientist: Ian Roberts

Visit the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) website

Humans have had an association with yeasts since our earliest history, through food and brewing, and yeasts have travelled around the world as humans have populated new continents. This has generated a wide diversity of strains.  More and more yeasts are being exploited in biotechnological processes and fermentation, and NCYC is playing a vital role in discovering, characterising and preserving this valuable wealth of biodiversity. NCYC also has a programme to improve yeast characterisation using state-of-the-art techniques such as molecular phylogenetics and comparative genomics.

In addition to preserving and understanding biodiversity, NCYC is using state-of-the-art techniques to characterise yeast strains for industrial use, in brewing and baking. NCYC is also heavily involved in IFR’s research into developing biofuels and other useful compounds, where yeasts play a role in fermenting waste plant-based material down into exploitable compounds.

Yeast is also used as a model organism in world-leading academic research, and in the emerging field of synthetic biology. The NCYC has become an essential resource underpinning the UK’s excellence in the biological sciences. It serves a broad customer base of over 600 different organisations, distributing around 400 cultures per year.

Excellent strain accession, supply and knowledge transfer mechanisms have developed during over 60 years of interaction with academic and industrial sectors involved in biological research targeted at food security and dietary health.

The NCYC’s status as a BBSRC-supported National Capability recognises its importance in providing a sustainable service to academic and commercial stakeholders in terms of accession, curation, identification and supply of strains and associated information. The NCYC provides a globally important hub on the pathways from fundamental research to technological uptake and economic impact.

Further information

More information regarding this area of research can be found on the National Collection of Yeast Cultures website

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