Chitin in the cell wall of yeasts

Research paper by P. A. Roelofsen, Ilse Hoette

Indexed on: 01 Dec '51Published on: 01 Dec '51Published in: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek


According to literature a glucan is the main cell wall constituent of baker's yeast and probably of all yeasts. Chitin is reported in some filamentousEndomycetaceae, but is said to be absent in all other yeasts tested.A modified chitosan sulphate crystallization test for detecting chitin in yeasts and the relevant characteristics of these crystals were described. It was applied to 29 yeast species in addition to baker's and brewer's yeast. ExceptSchizosaccharomyces octosporus all were found to contain chitin as a cell wall constituent. However, the amount was very small, varied in different species and seemed to increase in older cultures.Chitin has also been demonstrated as glucosamine on paper chromatograms of concentrated hydrolysates of the cell wall residue, obtained after treating baker's yeast with boiling dilute alkali and acid.