Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 5, pp 2067–2077 | Cite as

Experimental evolution: its principles and applications in developing stress-tolerant yeasts

  • Krishna B. S. SwamyEmail author
  • Nerve Zhou


Stress tolerance and resistance in industrial yeast strains are important attributes for cost-effective bioprocessing. The source of stress-tolerant yeasts ranges from extremophilic environments to laboratory engineered strains. However, industrial stress-tolerant yeasts are very rare in nature as the natural environment forces them to evolve traits that optimize survival and reproduction and not the ability to withstand harsh habitat-irrelevant industrial conditions. Experimental evolution is a frequent method used to uncover the mechanisms of evolution and microbial adaption towards environmental stresses. It optimizes biological systems by means of adaptation to environmental stresses and thus has immense power of development of robust stress-tolerant yeasts. This mini-review briefly outlines the basics and implications of evolution experiments and their applications to industrial biotechnology. This work is meant to serve as an introduction to those new to the field of experimental evolution, and as a guide to biologists working in the field of yeast stress response. Future perspectives of experimental evolution for potential biotechnological applications have also been elucidated.


Yeast stress tolerance Experimental evolution Strain development 


Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure declaration and ethical statement

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. The strains mentioned in this mini-review are available in public databases. The articles mentioned in this work are in accordance with ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Molecular BiologyAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyBotswana International University of Science and TechnologyPalapyeBotswana

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