Utilization of α-Glucosidic Disaccharides by Ogataea (Hansenula) polymorpha: Genes, Proteins, and Regulation

  • Tiina AlamäeEmail author
  • Katrin Viigand
  • Kristina Põšnograjeva


Utilization of α-glucosidic sugars such as maltose, maltotriose, isomaltose and sucrose has been extensively studied in a conventional yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as many important processes such as baking, brewing, and bioethanol production rely on fermentation of these sugars. In 1998, a non-conventional yeast Ogataea (formerly Hansenula) polymorpha was reported to grow on α-glucosidic disaccharides maltose and sucrose using intracellular α-glucosidase for their hydrolysis. Later on, the list of α-glucosidic sugars assimilated by O. polymorpha and hydrolyzed by its α-glucosidase was extended by adding maltotriose, isomaltose, palatinose, maltulose, and some others. In this chapter, we review the data on genetics, genomics, transport, and intracellular hydrolysis of α-glucosidic sugars in O. polymorpha. We also address evolution of yeast α-glucosidases and regulation of α-glucosidase and permease genes. Relevant data on other yeasts, mostly on S. cerevisiae, are used for comparison.


Maltose Methylotrophic yeast Sugar transport Gene cluster Genome mining 



This book chapter is based on experimental work supported by grants from the Estonian Research Council (ETF 3923, ETF 5676, ETF 7528; ETF 9072 and PUT1050).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiina Alamäe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrin Viigand
    • 1
  • Kristina Põšnograjeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Institute of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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