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noun, plural: yeasts

Colloquial name for the fungus that is characteristically single-celled most of its life, eukaryotic, reproduce asexually by budding or binary fission, produce ascospores, capable of fermenting carbohydrates.


Yeasts are important organism for their metabolic products used in the production of alcohol, wine, fruit juices, and leavening agent.

Important yeasts include Saccharomyces cerevisiae that has been used commercially and Candida albicans that is an opportunistic pathogen in humans.

Word origin: Middle English yeest, from Old English gist

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