Cell Disruption of Yeast & Fungus: Why Homogenize?

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David Shechter
Nov 11, 2015
min read
Cell Disruption of Yeast & Fungus: Why Homogenize?

For the past 545 million years, fungi and yeast have been a critical part of the global ecosystem. Contrary to many current views of them as detrimental to our health, they make a critical contribution in terms of the food web, and importantly, in science research and industry. Specifically, their intracellular proteins can be used to synthesize food and drug components that are vital to human health. However, access to these intracellular proteins can be challenging due to their rigid and protective cell structures. Read below for more on why homogenization is the preferred method for rupture of fungal and yeast cells.

Before we delve into characteristics of yeast and fungi and the logistics of homogenization as a cell disruption method, what we deem as ‘effective’ cell disruption must first be clarified. The goal of cell disruption is access to intracellular proteins for solubilization and/or extraction; therefore, easier access and more usable lysate equates to higher effectiveness in method. An effective disruption method produces a lysate in high quantities and which is highly usable in the application it is destined for.

Although there exist many physical and chemical differences between fungi and yeast, the two species are also incredibly similar. Both classified in the fungi kingdom and each consumes food through decomposition of dead or decaying things. Comparison of the unicellular yeast and a single cell from the multicellular fungus also reveals a strong structural resemblance; this indicates that a similar mode of cell disruption will be undertaken.

Animal cell disruption is typically straightforward with minimal equipment requirements, as they do not contain a cell wall that prevents access to intracellular contents. Yet among plants, fungi, and some protists, this is not the case and will affect which mode of disruption you select. It is recommended that fungi and yeast be exposed to hydrolytic enzymes to break through the cell wall first. Once that process has occurred, homogenization is the preferred method of cell disruption. In previous years, the French press was the machine of choice; however, its low pressure required multiple passes, which can be costly and time-consuming. High-pressure homogenizers, in contrast, can oftentimes disrupt the entire sample in 1-2 passes with enough force to achieve complete disruption, but with enough care that intracellular proteins are not disturbed.

Pion: Homogenizers That Effectively Disrupt Cells

Researchers who require yeast and/or fungal cell lysates should have a laboratory homogenizer available. On determining which homogenizer will be right for your lab, begin your search with Pion's BEE brand technology. They are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for their high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis is just one of a variety of applications for Pion's BEE brand homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit your product, which will allow you to customize to your cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.

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