Yeast 2.0 - synthetic genome engineering pioneers new possibilities for wine yeast research

Isak S. Pretorius*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Yeast research represents an important nexus between fundamental and applied research. Just as fundamental yeast research transitioned from classical, reductionist strategies to systems approaches, genetic engineering studies are advancing to the next level of biological research, referred to as synthetic genome engineering. Industries that rely on high-performing yeast, such as the wine industry, are therefore poised to reap the many benefits that synthetic biology can provide. This includes the promise of strain development by using DNA editing techniques and de novo genome synthesis studies. This chapter reviews the current international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies. As the Sc2.0 jigsaw puzzles are starting to fall into place, a clearer picture of a laboratory strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast with 16 man-made chromosomes is emerging. By building the world’s first eukaryotic genome, the findings and learnings of the Sc2.0 project inspired the construction of other industrially-important yeasts, including a wine yeast capable of producing raspberry-flavoured Chardonnay.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYeasts in the production of wine
EditorsPatrizia Romano, Maurizio Ciani, Graham H. Fleet
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781493997824
ISBN (Print)9781493997800
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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