Pichia pastoris

Taxonomy: Eukaryota; Fungi/Metazoa group; Fungi; Dikarya; Ascomycota; Saccharomycotina; Saccharomycetes; Saccharomycetales; Saccharomycetaceae; Pichia; Pichia pastoris


Pichia pastoris is a methylotrophic ascomycete fungi which is widely used as a heterlogous protein expression system for basic research and for the production of biopharmaceuticals. It is also an important model organism for investigating peroxisomal proliferation and methanol assimilation. Many properties for example: the high growth rate and high cell density, the tightly controlled methanol-inducible promoters (AOX1 and AOX2) and the efficient heterologous secretion mechanism make P. pastoris an ideaal expression system. The P. pastoris expression technology has been commercially available for many years but little is known about this yeast species. An important recent breakthrough of the P. pastoris strains with human-type N-glycosylation has been developed which makes it suitable for biopharmaceutical and clinical development.

Our involvement

We are involved in the genome project of P. pastoris, together with Prof. Dr. Nico Callewaert (Unit of Molecular Glycobiology). This is our first eukaryotic genome which is sequenced by the 454 pyrosequencing method. This genome opens the door by using the next-generation sequencing technology without the involvement of a large genome sequencing center. The new sequencing method also brings new challenges on many aspects including the sequence assembly, sequence error correction, gene prediction and data storage. The gene prediction was done by the integrated gene prediction platform - EuGene and the expert annotation was done through the ORCAE system. More than 80% of the gene structures were checked by expert annotators and assigned the proper function.

In collaboration with

Sequence Download



De Schutter, K., Lin, Y.-C., Tiels, P., Van Hecke, A., Glinka, S., Weber-Lehmann, J., Rouzé, P., Van de Peer, Y., Callewaert, L. (2009) Genome sequence of the recombinant protein production host Pichia pastoris, a methylotrophic yeast. Nature Biotechnology 27(6):561-6.

Mattanovich, D., Callewaert, L., Rouzé, P., Lin, Y.-C., Graf, A., Redl, A., Tiels, P., Gasser, B., De Schutter, K. (2009) Open access to sequence: Browsing the Pichia pastoris genome. Microbial Cell Factories 8:53.

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Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics
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