Visioning synthetic futures for yeast research within the context of current global techno-political trends

Thomas A. Dixon, Roy S. K. Walker, Isak S. Pretorius*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Yeast research is entering into a new period of scholarship, with new scientific tools, new questions to ask and new issues to consider. The politics of emerging and critical technology can no longer be separated from the pursuit of basic science in fields, such as synthetic biology and engineering biology. Given the intensifying race for technological leadership, yeast research is likely to attract significant investment from government, and that it offers huge opportunities to the curious minded from a basic research standpoint. This article provides an overview of new directions in yeast research with a focus on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and places these trends in their geopolitical context. At the highest level, yeast research is situated within the ongoing convergence of the life sciences with the information sciences. This convergent effect is most strongly pronounced in areas of AI-enabled tools for the life sciences, and the creation of synthetic genomes, minimal genomes, pan-genomes, neochromosomes and metagenomes using computer-assisted design tools and methodologies. Synthetic yeast futures encompass basic and applied science questions that will be of intense interest to government and nongovernment funding sources. It is essential for the yeast research community to map and understand the context of their research to ensure their collaborations turn global challenges into research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-456
Number of pages14
Issue number10
Early online date31 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • metagenome
  • minimal genome
  • pan-genome
  • supernumerary neochromosome
  • synthetic communities
  • synthetic genome


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  • COESB: ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

    Paulsen, I., Filipovska, A., Parker, R., Nielsen, L. K., Neilan, B. A., Alexandrov, K., Jackson , C., Wodak, J., Rackham, O., Marcellin, E., Gillings, M., Rogers, W., Lee, L., Packer, N., O'Hara, I. M., Speight, R., Vickers, C. E., Beliaev, A., Scott, C., Lacey, J., Mankad, A., Calvert, J., Thomas, G., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M., Fleishman, S., Koepke, M., Ball, M., Turner, N. J., Borneman, A. R., Holowko, M., Goold, H., Ellis, T., Mitchell, L. A. & Dai, J.


    Project: Research

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