Yeasts are fungi which reproduce vegetatively by means of single cells which bud, or less commonly, divide by fission. This property enables yeasts to increase rapidly in numbers in liquid environments, which favour the dispersal of unicellular microorganisms. Many yeasts grow readily under strictly anaerobic conditions, again favouring their growth in liquids. On the other hand, reproduction as single cells restricts spreading on, or penetration into, solid surfaces, where filamentous fungi are at an advantage. Being eukaryotic organisms, yeasts reproduce more slowly than do most bacteria, and hence do not compete in environments which favour bacteria, i.e. at pH values near neutral or at very high temperatures. In common with filamentous fungi, many yeasts are tolerant of acid conditions.
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